Drew Lock’s performance against the Raiders makes him the Broncos highest graded offensive player according to PFF

Dec 26, 2021; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock (3) throws the ball against the Las Vegas Raiders in the first half at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The math is simple. The Broncos need a perfect storm for any shot at making the playoffs.

There are two weeks left in the regular season and both games are against division rivals in the Los Angeles Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs and they must be wins if Denver wants to hold on to any postseason hope.

The last thing Denver wants to do is eliminate itself from contention with any losses down the stretch, so it will need everyone playing to their fullest capacity to finish with the highly coveted winning season.

Here are the best and worst offensive and defensive starters against the Las Vegas Raiders according to PFF.

Best Offensive Performance- Drew Lock- 88.5 (2nd of 38 quarterbacks)

With Teddy Bridgewater sidelined in the concussion protocol, Drew Lock received the starter duties and a full week of preparation against the Raiders.

For all intents and purposes the Broncos offense was just as anemic with Lock at the helm, yet he proved a large segment of doubters wrong with his ability to make safe and effective throws. Were the results astronomically breathtaking? No. Did he do exactly what was asked of him? Unequivocally, yes.

With a PFF offensive grade of 88.5, Lock was the second-highest graded quarterback that played on Sunday. That isn’t to say he put together a masterclass game, the numbers would be evidence enough to show that would be a false narrative. Instead, he maneuvered the pocket well, put balls in catchable locations, allowed his receivers a chance at making a play (which were not capitalized on), and did not put his team behind the sticks.

The Drew Lock days in Denver could be over in two weeks, but at the very least he deserves to be praised for making the best of an extremely uninspired offense with second-rate play calling.

Worst Offensive Performance- Albert Okwuegbunam- 40.4 (55th of 59 tight ends)

For the majority of the year Albert Okwuegbunam has been an aesthetically pleasing offensive player to watch. His overall effectiveness has been hit and miss, but he has shown great athleticism hurtling defenders and showing a fearlessness in the blocking game. On Sunday however, his performance left much to be desired.

In his run and pass blocking snaps he did yeoman’s work, regardless of the ineffectiveness in the running game, but he struggled most as a receiver. With a receiving grade of 30.3, Okwuegbunam ranked very last of all tight ends in the league who took snaps on Sunday. He was unable to get open when he was on the field and had a key drop late in the 4th quarter with the game in reach.

The Broncos have a young talent in Okwuegbunam, but he still needs time and coaching to reach his potential. Games like the one against the Raiders should be learning opportunities for a still inexperienced player. Ideally, he can learn from his shortcomings and put this performance in the rearview mirror quickly.

Best Defensive Performance- Jonas Griffith- 81.1 (8th of 113)

For the second week in a row Jonas Griffith ranked out as the Denver Broncos best defensive starter and it is starting to feel like he may be a legitimate player on this squad.

As notated in last week’s article, Griffith was essentially a late training camp acquisition to bolster a very weak special teams unit. With supreme athleticism and tenacity, he was a fantastic addition but with Josey Jewell and Alexander Johnson fully entrenched as the starting linebackers, and him being the sixth or seventh option on the depth chart, special teams play was all Denver was expecting from him this season.

Fortunately for him and unfortunately for many others, a rash of injuries saw him called up to start along side Baron Browning and he has taken that opportunity and run with it. In two starts Griffith has been a part of 20 tackles, three tackles for loss and two quarterback hits, He has been an absolute monster on the field and this defense has seen an uptick in productivity since he has been added to the starting rotation.

Worst Defensive Performance- Bryce Callahan- 41.5 (126th of 135 cornerbacks)

For an undersized cornerback Bryce Callahan has been a warrior on the gridiron for the entirety of his career. The oft-injured veteran has carved out a niche for himself in the league as one of the better slot cornerbacks.

Knowing this about him makes his showing against Las Vegas as puzzling as any. Callahan was beat a number of times against a depleted Raiders wide receiving core where Zay Jones tallied 8 receptions and Derek Carr found repeated success.

Fans shouldn’t worry about Callahan in the long run, he will continue to be one of the better defensive specialists as longs as he stays healthy, but he will need to be better if he wants to be a Bronco next year and beyond.

SHARE