ENGLEWOOD, Colo. –With Week 3 in the books – and on the tape – Pro Football Focus has released its Team of the Week and it includes three Broncos plus an honorable mention.
After setting the record for the most touchdown passes in the first three games of a season, quarterback Peyton Manning was selected to PFF's Team of the Week. His performance Monday night was the highest graded performance by a quarterback in the 2013 season according to the site's grading system.
He connected on 86.5 percent of his passes – the best mark of his career when throwing more than 20 times – and hit 9-of-12 passes aimed more than 10 yards in the air.
"I think he has started where he left off last year and improved on that," Head Coach John Fox said of Manning after the Monday night win. "We added some weapons, I think personnel-wise our guys have brought in some guys that have helped us. And he's an incredible player as far as the way he prepares and he communicates things to his teammates."
Former college teammates Louis Vasquez and Manny Ramirez were both selected to the Team of the Week for their part in the running game and the protection of Manning. The Broncos averaged 4.7 yards per carry – their best mark of the season – and Ramirez allowed just one quarterback hurry. Ramirez was credited by the site for "handling himself very well since the permanent move to center."
Running back Ronnie Hillman was selected as an honorable mention for his 66-yard, one touchdown performance Monday night, rounding out the selection of Broncos named by PFF. Dallas' DeMarco Murray graded above Hillman and made the Team of the Week after having 175 yards on 26 carries.
Hillman credited the offensive line after the game for the Broncos' success in the running game.
"The line made it easier to get into a groove this week," Hillman said. "They had gashing holes. We were just going downhill. We didn't have to read anything. They were just playing so soft that it just kind of helped us as a running back crew to get a rhythm."
In Week 2, the Broncos had two players listed as honorable mentions – Knowshon Moreno and Rahim Moore – but none on the first team. This week's four selections were second most of any team behind the Cowboys, who had five players selected.