Denver Broncos Game 1 Position/Player Grades

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Aug 7, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos safety T.J. Ward (43) grabs the face mask of Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) during the first half at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports


  1. T.J. Ward: B+

It was nice to see some good safety play again. Ward did really well. He kicked down to play LB a few times, with success. I expect to see more of that as the season comes around. His coverage was good also. Only reason his grade is this low is because, he failed to drag down the QB for a sack. He had a bunch of great plays which is why it is as high as it is.

  1. Rahim Moore: B

Moore looked better than ever. He was aware of what was going out and looked like he was reading the play really well. He almost had an interception, but was just a half second too late. He was quick in coverage and kept the plays in front of him.

  1. Quinton Carter: B

Not sure how many people noticed, but Carter played some snaps at CB as well as safety. He did really well during his snaps at CB. In fact, he did so well he looked like a pure CB who has been an NFL CB for years. His time at safety was near excellence. When Ward kicked to LB, Carter came in to play opposite Moore. When the defense did this, they looked great. Having the three safeties out on the field looks like it will be huge for the Broncos this year.

  1. Duke Ihenacho: D

His struggles in coverage continued. He also added struggles to his run defense, which used to be his strong suit. He did has a few solid to good plays, but only enough to keep his grade from being an F.

  1. David Bruton: C-

His special teams play saves his grade. He continued to show why he is used rarely on defense. His coverage abilities were poor at best. His best suit is against the run, but even that wasn’t overly strong.

  1. John Boyett: C+

Boyett looked like he was the fourth best safety. It was the start of his climb to potentially take Dukes spot away, but he has to finish. Boyett played a key role on a few plays. One a drop that would’ve been an easy score, another on the interception to seal the game. His mistakes were few and far between, but they were still there. Against the run a few times he read it wrong, but he recovered.

  1. Charles Mitchell: N/A

He is the only player to have played in the game to get a N/A grade. One snap is hardly enough to hand out anything solid.

Overall: B-

After the top three, safety play is a concern. Boyett looks good and pushing for a spot, but he has to finish. This is a long race, not a sprint. Thankfully, that gives the bottom half of the corps enough time to either improve, or finish their takeover.