Denver Broncos Game 1 Position/Player Grades

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Aug 7, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos defensive tackle Marvin Austin (76) during the game against the Seattle Seahawks at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos won 21-16. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive Tackles

  1. Terrance Knighton: B+

The big man in the middle played a major role in getting pressure on the QB. His ability to penetrate and cause disruption was on display. Also, for a man his size, he is surprisingly quick and agile. His whole time on the field he was manhandling offensive linemen, in both pass rush and run stop.

  1. Sylvester Williams: B-

Sly showed growth from last year to this year. He was able to penetrate seemingly with ease. Provided some solid interior push and pressure and played a major role in the early success of the defensive line. However, there were still times he looked lost and confused.

  1. Marvin Austin: A

It was just unfair that Austin was out there against second and third string offensive linemen. He was dominate over them, controlling them in his pass rush and stopping the run. A few times he was met with a double team, which he split with ease to cause disruption in the backfield. One play that stood out in particular was where Austin was faced with a double team. He immediately knocked one off him, only to plow by the other and blow up the running back for a big loss. Only saw one negative play from him. On a run play, Austin got a little high and the OL got under him and drove him back.

  1. Mitch Unrein: C+

Unrein put out a solid showing, but he didn’t shine like the other interior linemen ahead of him. His best play came on a Marvin Austin Sack. Unrein ate up space and cleared the way for Austin to cut inside and nail the QB for a loss. Unrein does whatever is needed of him and that was on display.

  1. Sione Fua: C

Fua had a solid showing. Nothing too great. Nothing too bad. He looked strong in the middle, both in rush and pass. He is better suited to stop the run, however. Fua plays till the whistle and a few times, I am surprised he didn’t get flagged for stuff after the play. He is feisty in the trenches.

  1. Cody Larsen: C-

Another player who was signed about a week before the game. His unfamiliarity in the defense showed. Looked lost a lot. Despite that he put up some solid displays of strength and power to win his battle in the trenches. However, he wasn’t quick enough winning those battles.

  1. Kevin Vickerson: N/A

Still recovering from his hip injury, it is no surprise that Vickerson didn’t see any reps.

Overall: B

The overall performance of the interior was great. There is a lot of strength to anchor the defense. But, their abilities don’t stop just there. Consistent interior pressure on the QB helps out the defensive ends, and they provide that consistent push.