ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --
Pro Football Focus, a website dedicated to providing a unique, statistical view of the NFL, released its Week 1 team of the week Tuesday and it included three Broncos.
Tight end Julius Thomas was tabbed as the best tight end from week one for his two touchdown performance. “We’re not in love with his pass blocking grade, but then what tight end should be able to stop Elvis Dumervil?” said PFF. They went on to say that he proved himself a “difference-maker.”
Chris Harris, who was “excellent in coverage,” was named one of the top cornerbacks alongside Darrelle Revis from Tampa Bay. Harris had the higher grade according the site. On their count, Harris allowed just three of eight passes to be caught on his watch and he also had an interception.
David Bruton was selected for his special team performance for what PFF termed a “lively showing” to go along with his blocked punt.
Kansas City had the most players selected to the team but the Broncos three selections were tied for the second most with New England.
Though Carson Palmer was PFF’s selection at quarterback this week, Peyton Manning graded out well from his seven-touchdown performance. In PFF’s article breaking down the game with the Ravens they describe Manning’s performance as clinical and that he showed that “he is his own defense’s best friend.”
Demaryius Thomas and Wes Welker both graded out well in addition to Julius Thomas. Welker’s grade came in slightly lower than the other two because of a false start penalty but other than that he was “ruthlessly efficient against everyone except Lardarius Webb.” The only two passes Welker didn’t catch came while defended by Webb.
On defense, Shaun Phillips nearly made the Team of the Week for his 2.5 sack performance but he lost out to Robert Quinn of the Rams and his three sacks. Phillips was the highest-graded Broncos defender and though, PFF points out, he drew a favorable matchup against rookie right tackle Ricky Wagner “to his credit he took full advantage and did more than just rush the passer adding two stops against the run early in the second quarter and even dropping to cover Ray Rice on a wheel route, which he did so well that he forced Joe Flacco to throw the ball out of bounds.”
Since PFF started grading games six seasons ago, Thursday was Phillips’ best performance.
New Bronco Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was targeted only once and that pass was incomplete.
Safety Duke Ihenacho was also just a few points away from making the team of the week as he put together a strong first career start. He made an “immediate impression” with three tackles in the first half and was “around the football all night.” Only Wesley Woodyard ended the game with more tackles than Ihenacho.
PFF gave the game ball to Ihenacho saying, “Showing a real nose for the football and bringing force when he finds it, the second-year safety is going to be fun to watch this season.”
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