The recipe for success was there for Denver in Sunday night’s loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, but execution held the Broncos back. Vic Fangio, for all of the criticism he has earned, had a nicely drawn blueprint for a Broncos victory but the team, and more specifically Teddy Bridgewater just couldn’t do enough to get the win.

Denver is again a .500 team with little, to no margin for error. Every game from here on out will to be treated as a playoff game or they may find themselves on the outside of the playoff picture looking in.

Here are the Broncos best and worst offensive and defensive starters of week 13, according to

Best Offensive Performance- Dalton Risner- 77.7 (6th of 71 guards)

The offensive line is in a much better place now than it was a mere few weeks ago. Injury has plagued the unit but with the full complement of starters back aside from Graham Glasgow, this unit dominated against the Kansas City Chiefs.

One such contributor was Dalton Risner who had a very nice showing in both pass and run blocking and was the most consistent player on the line Sunday night.

Risner looked fully healthy and played with athleticism and power all night and was a major factor in Javonte Williams’s career night. Not only that but he graded out with a 85.6 pass blocking grade, tying him with Tyler Biadasz as the second-best interior blocker in the league in Week 13.

It’s hard to say if this level of play will continue with Risner through the final stretch of the season, but this offensive line seems to have more of an identity than they have all season. Having really struggled this season at times it is rewarding to see him put together a mighty performance in a game that really mattered, regardless of the outcome.

Worst Offensive Performance- Teddy Bridgewater- 44.1 (26th of 29 quarterbacks)

For the first time this season, Teddy Bridgewater has graded out as the Broncos worst offensive starter.

With a final stat line of 22 of 40 for 257 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions, Bridgewater had easily the worst game of his Denver Broncos career in the most important game to date. A win against the Chiefs was an opportunity to take the top position in the AFC West, but instead they are fighting to stay afloat.

It was – by all definitions of the word – underwhelming considering that the Chiefs dropped a number of near interceptions that could have been even more catastrophic.

Bridgewater was unable to generate any real opportunities to put points on the board with the plethora of talented pass-catchers available to him and if you can’t score against the Chiefs, you have no realistic chance of defeating them.

In order to make a playoff push, Bridgewater will have to be more opportunistic in the red zone. Leading a 10-plus minute drive down the field is fantastic, but to come away with zero points on said drive cannot happen.

The check-down king needs to open up his arsenal if he hopes to lead this team towards a playoff berth.

Best Defensive Performance- Kyle Fuller- 70.7 (29th of 115 cornerbacks)

Kyle Fuller has been a punching bag for fans and media members alike since the start of the season. Having struggled mightily in one-on-one coverage all season long and slowly falling down the Broncos depth chart, it’s understandable why.

However, Fuller put together his best display of skill yet by being a pesky and adamant defender, disrupting Kansas City’s dynamic receivers all night long.

The explosive duo of Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce were held to a combined five receptions for 49 yards. The Denver defense has never been able to limit both players in such a fashion, and never both in the same game. Fuller nearly forced a fumble as well that was determined instead to be an incomplete pass on the field as well.

If Fuller can continue with this hard-nosed, devil-may-care play, the Denver defense will become even more troublesome and a unit that no opposing quarterback wants to see looking back at it.

Worst Defensive Performance- Kareem Jackson- 28.6 (89th of 90 safeties)  

Kareem Jackson is typically a player that impacts the game in positive ways when he is on an off the field, but unfortunately on Sunday night he was a ghost.

Kansas City has measured success running the ball, an area that Jackson generally shines in limiting with his hard-hitting approach and he graded out with a 29.6 grade in coverage which is just abysmal.

With all of that being said, Jackson is still a vocal leader in the locker room and has urged the Broncos to treat every remaining game on their schedule like it is a playoff game. If he can rally the troops and return to his regular football form, the Broncos will better off for it.