Denver Broncos Game 1 Position/Player Grades

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Aug 7, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos running back Juwan Thompson (40) runs the ball during the second half against the Seattle Seahawks at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos won 21-16. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Running Back

  1. Montee Ball: N/A

With having an emergency appendectomy, Ball was out for the game.

  1. Ronnie Hillman: C+

At least he didn’t fumble, right? Seriously though, Ronnie Hillman ran well at times. Part of the problem was lack of push from the offensive line. He still managed to put in a solid showing. His best play did not come from running however. It came in pass protection when he picked up the blitz to give Manning time to convert on third down. When he was running the ball, he was patient and waited for the hole to open, but it didn’t stay open long enough. But, he also was too patient a few times. The hole was open and he was too patient and didn’t use his burst. Instead, he waited and the hole closed. Hopefully, the next game the offensive line is able to get a push and allow Hillman to do his thing.

  1. C.J. Anderson: B-

If it weren’t for suffering a concussion, Anderson’s grade would’ve been a B. When he was running, he ran with power and speed. One of his best rushes got called back due to a holding call on the RG. He also showed solid ability as a receiver out of the backfield. He had a similar issue with lack of push from the offensive line, but he did a good job of making himself small and used power to get solid gains.

  1. Juwan Thompson: A-

Thompson earned himself more reps with his performance. He was a nice surprise to Bronco fans who did not know of him. With Hillman and Anderson, Seattle’s defense was stopping them, pushing them backwards. However, with Thompson he was pushing them backwards. He was the best RB out there, not just for Denver either. Being a bigger back, he has an awesome combo of speed, burst and power. Something not seen often in RBs of his size anymore. His decision-making and vision was excellent. In fact, everything he showed was excellent, or close to it. Only thing he didn’t show was receiving ability, but its hard to do that when not given the chance.

  1. Kapri Bibbs: B+

After having some mediocre days in training camp, Bibbs, quite literally, burst onto the scene against the Seahawks. He had a couple runs called back for a penalty that were excellent. Good vision with excellent cut and go ability. He also runs tough. A few of his runs came through the A-gap, where he gained a few yards and showed a lot of strength running. He put in a performance to gain some more reps, like Thompson. The fact that Ball and Anderson are out, sadly, helps them get more reps.

  1. Brennan Clay: D

Clay entered the game in garbage time and did very little. He saw a total of eight snaps, four of which he was a run blocker. The three times he ran the ball, he did not look so good. He wasn’t able to find the open hole on two of his runs. The hole was there, he just didn’t get to it. No burst and indecisive.

  1. Jerodis Williams: N/A

Saw no time and not because of injury. Doesn’t look good for Williams. We’ll see what happens in the next game if Anderson is unable to go.

Overall: B

As a group, they had a really good showing. Clay was easily the worst looking RB, but he didn’t have much of a shot. Hillman could’ve looked better, but a lot lays in the lack of push from the OL. As the games continue, the RBs will be one of the best areas to keep an eye on.