Denver Broncos: Rookie performance grades vs. Raiders
Courtland Sutton, WR
The game against the Raiders will go down as one of Sutton’s most impressive as a rookie, but unfortunately, he won’t have the statistical production to show for it.
Sutton finished the game with six targets in the passing game and continued to rise among the Broncos’ leaders in offensive snaps. Despite his six targets, however, he finished with just one reception for nine yards and a couple of huge plays that ended up in the box score as incomplete passes but could have completely altered this game.
Sutton reeled in a pass deep down the left sideline against Gareon Conley and was originally ruled in bounds but after review, it was determined Sutton did not have control of the ball while in bounds, and the ruling of a catch was overturned.
On that particular replay, though, it appeared the officials missed a really obvious pass interference on the Raiders’ defensive back Conley, who grabbed Sutton’s right hand and clearly interfered with what would have otherwise been an easy reception for the big play threat.
Later in the game, Sutton appeared to catch his first NFL touchdown, but it was ruled incomplete on the field and confirmed after Vance Joseph challenged the ruling. Even after watching the play what feels like 100 times, I still think Sutton never touched the chalk and should have had his first NFL touchdown.
A drop early in this game contributed to a really poor offensive showing for Denver in the first two quarters. I’m giving Sutton a favorable grade because of the plays he almost made, if not for a couple of bad judgment calls by officials.