Wide Receivers Grade: B+
Tight Ends Grade: B
Similarly, Trevor Siemian’s momentum continued after the bye week against a top-5 defense in the Kansas City Chiefs. The Denver Broncos quarterback took chances down the field and chose not to challenge Marcus Peters much in the loss. This allowed Emmanuel Sanders to take center stage on Sunday Night Football. Ed McCaffrey is forever remembered in Broncos history as a “tough as nails” wide receiver and one the team might never find again.
Fast-forward twenty years later, the team found his equal. Sanders got up quickly after a bruising hit by Eric Berry. This hit alone fueled the Pro-Bowl wide receiver to gain big plays consistently. Sanders finished with 162 yards and a touchdown. There may not be a debate anymore who the number one receiver is in the Broncos offense. However, Demaryius Thomas made a case sparingly to him being the first target also. Despite Peters’ coverage, Thomas still ended the game with five catches and 60 yards.
By the way, Bennie Fowler and Jordan Taylor are competing for the fourth and third wide receiver position on the roster. Both Fowler and Taylor came back to the ball and trusted Siemian to make the throw necessary in its respective spots. Jordan Norwood’s spot not as returner may not be the only thing in limbo. Norwood is the slot receiver in the Broncos offense, but his reliability is now questioned after miscues on special teams. Wide Receiver position gets a B+ grade.
The Broncos were searching for an answer at tight end for the past few years. John Elway drafted Jeff Heuerman hoping he would answer the call, but the team traded for AJ Derby and the franchise’s famous quarterback, now executive looks like a genius.
Furthermore, Derby made numerous, clutch catches on third down to extend drives. A reliable tight end is vital to a Gary Kubiak offense and especially for a young quarterback. The Broncos were backed up near their end zone, but Siemian eluded the pressure sliding to his left and found Derby on 3rd and 11. Derby is the talent the Broncos need on offense to stretch the field and become a focal point along with Virgil Green.
Although Green did not catch a single pass, he made an impact in the running game. Derby added a key block to spring the running game. If the Broncos have a semblance of a rushing attack with two blocking tight ends it helps seal both edges for Devontae Booker and Kapri Bibbs. Tight ends tally a B grade, but can easily be better.