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Of Snap Counts And Grades: Broncos Game

Tight end Trey McBride plays well in homecoming, and J.J. Watt shines

Trey McBride went home and had his best game of the year. Not only did he have his best totals in catches (four) and yards (55) in his young career, but he ended up with his best Pro Football Focus grade (69.8), so that had to leave him happy. McBride has slowly been playing better and better -- he had another 56 snaps on Sunday out of 65 total.

The offensive snaps Sunday were about what they have been, impacted only by injury. For instance, Kelvin Beachum only played 49 of the 65 right tackle snaps after hurting his knee and ankle, although he did return to the game after the injury. Rookie Lecitus Smith also got eight snaps at left guard after Max Garcia got hurt.

At receiver, DeAndre Hopkins got 60 snaps, Hollywood Brown 58, A.J. Green 37, Robbie Anderson 24 and Greg Dortch 6. James Conner again got the bulk of the running back work with 59 snaps.

There were only a few solid PFF grades besides McBride on offense -- not a surprise given the struggles on the day. Tight end Maxx Williams, who had his second and third catches of the season while playing 13 snaps, was at 76.3. Left tackle Josh Jones was a 72.9, and Hopkins was at 63.1

On defense, the grades were higher. J.J. Watt measured out with an 86.9 after his huge day, leading al defensive linemen with 58 snaps out of 69. Safety Budda Baker was also over 80 (80.8) after 68 snaps. Only linebacker Zaven Collins played all 69 defensive snaps (and graded 70.5).

With only three cornerbacks active, rookie Christian Matthew played 66, Jace Whittaker 62, and practice-squad elevation Nate Hairston only had three. Linebacker/safety Isaiah Simmons had 61. Without Zach Allen, Leki Fotu had the second-most defensive linemen snaps at 49, with Jonathan Ledbetter -- who had a sack -- coming in with 41. Rookies Myjai Sanders (11) and Cameron Thomas (10) didn't play as much.

Other good grades were defensive tackle Trysten Hill (77.7), safety Jalen Thompson (77.1), linebacker Markus Golden (73.2), linebacker Ben Niemann (72.0), linebacker Victor Dimukeje (71.0), defensive lineman Manny Jones (69.8) and linebacker Tanner Vallejo (67.9).

Arizona Cardinals tight end Trey McBride (85)  during the 2022 regular season game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Denver Broncos on Sunday, Dec. 18, 2022 in Denver, CO.

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