Despite some communication errors in the red zone, the Broncos' offensive line performed well overall on Monday night, The Athletic’s Nick Kosmider noted. With some backup linemen filling in, the unit showed depth that could prove vital as the season goes on.
"Various markers suggested a strong performance from the offensive line as a whole in Week 1," Kosmider wrote. "The Broncos ranked sixth in yards per play (6.77), fifth in yards before contact per carry (2.35) and 12th in pressure rate allowed (31.1 percent), according to Pro Football Focus and TruMedia. Wilson had an average time to throw of 2.89 seconds, the fifth-longest among QBs who attempted at least 10 passes in Week 1."
Graham Glasgow filled in for Quinn Meinerz at right guard, who exited the game early with a hamstring injury, while Cam Fleming started at right tackle in place of Billy Turner, who is still working his way back from injury. Fleming did not sign with Denver until the first day of training camp, but he picked up on the new offensive scheme quickly.
"[Fleming's] a smart guy," center Lloyd Cushenberry III told Kosmider. "I mean, he graduated from Stanford, nine-year vet, so he's been in a lot of systems. … He was here last year, so he knows us on the field and how we communicate. It wasn't really a big difference with him in there. We trust him and he's done a great job since he's been here."
The offensive linemen were not perfect, but Kosmider sees potential in this group to continue improving throughout the season.
"The offensive line set an encouraging baseline in their first game in this season of change — and identified an obvious area for improvement in the process," Kosmider wrote. "Now, the Broncos just need to end with a more joyous stroll off the field."
Below the Fold
After starting the season in a hostile environment at Lumen Field in Seattle, the Associated Press' Arnie Stapleton noted that Russell Wilson is looking forward to playing at home in front of Broncos Country this weekend.
"Russell Wilson relishes the thought of taking the field Sunday for his Denver debut when the Broncos host the Houston Texans at Empower Field," Stapleton wrote.
On Wednesday, Wilson told the media that playing at Empower Field at Mile High for the first time as a Bronco will be special for him.
"I've obviously gotten to experience the home energy during preseason and running out for the first time, but this is going to be a monumental moment, in a way, for me," Wilson said.