Aug 29, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) is sacked by Denver Broncos strong safety T.J. Ward (43), outside linebacker Danny Trevathan (59), and linebacker Shaquil Barrett (bottom) during the first half at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
T.J. Ward: (53 snaps, -0.4 PFF grade)
Darian Stewart: (118 snaps, +1.8 PFF grade)
David Bruton: (89 snaps, +1.1 PFF grade)
Josh Bush (23 snaps, -0.3 PFF grade)
Omar Bolden (7 snaps, +0.1 PFF grade)
Ward has obviously only played one game, but he made a big difference for the defense as a whole. His PFF grade doesn’t really reflect the sort of impact he had against the Chiefs on Travis Kelce for the majority of the game, and I think he’ll play a big role for this team yet again, obviously. He’s a phenomenal box safety who can play the run and actually rush the passer really well. It’s going to be fun watching how Phillips uses him as the year evolves.
Darian Stewart has made some for the biggest plays for the Broncos over the first two games, including the game-sealing interception off of a deflection against his former team the Baltimore Ravens in week 1. He also put the initial hit on Jamaal Charles before he was eventually stripped by Brandon Marshall for the game-winning fumble, scoop and score.
He’s looking like a phenomenal addition by this front office yet again.
I don’t think it can be over-stated how much David Bruton means to this defense, as he made the big pass breakup against Baltimore late in the 4th quarter on what could have been the game-winning touchdown pass. He can blitz, he can cover, he can play special teams, and he can hit like a freight train.
Josh Bush has played a solid role in relief of some injured/suspended players, but will continue to make more of an impact on special teams.
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