It seems like every year a player on the Super Bowl winning team comes out of nowhere to make a big play that helps decide the outcome of the game.
Last year undrafted rookie cornerback Malcolm Butler came away with the game-winning interception at the one-yard line on the final play of the game. Jacoby Jones had a huge 108-yard kickoff return that helped seal a Super Bowl win for the Baltimore Ravens, and then you have David Tyree going up and making a crazy catch from quarterback Eli Manning.
There's plenty more. Every year there is a player who is being overlooked by everyone who comes out of nowhere to make a huge play and will forever go down in Super Bowl history.
So let's take a look at the Denver Broncos players who could be a surprise Super Bowl 50 here.
Wide receiver Bennie Fowler:
The Broncos second-year wide receiver hasn't been a big part of the team this year, but he has made a few big catches when called on this year.
He finished the 2016 season with 16 receptions for 203 yards. He has added two more receptions during the postseason, but one of them was a big one. The Broncos had a crucial third down to make and quarterback Peyton Manning threw a perfect pass to Fowler for a big 31 yard gain.
This is what I can see Fowler doing in the Super Bowl. Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas will get all the attention and the majority of the looks in the passing game, but it only takes one or two catches to be a hero. A key third down, a look in the red zone. That's all it takes, and I could see Fowler being that guy.
It seems like the Broncos like giving all their receivers reps as the third receiver, so Cody Latimer, Andre Caldwell, and Jordan Norwood are also viable options for this as well.
Outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett:
Man, what a find he has been this year. He was a monster during Training Camp and burst onto the scene during the Broncos preseason. He then carried that success into the 2015 season.
Barrett finished the season with 50 tackles, 5.5 sacks and 4 forced fumbles. Barrett has also turned into one of the Broncos better run defenders on the team.
I think Barrett will see plenty of snaps as a run defender on Sunday. This is where he has an edge over DeMarcus Ware. He'll have the duty to stop Cam Newton, Jonathan Stewart, and Mike Tolbert on Sunday. Barrett will also get reps as a pass rusher. He has four sacks this year, and a big strip sack could be a game changing play.
While Von and Ware are getting a bunch of credit(as they should), Barrett will be an important player on Sunday night.
Tight end Virgil Green:
Peyton Manning puts in another strong practice
•Mile High ReportManning has been looking good during practice this week.
After a two touchdown performance by Owen Daniels against the New England Patriots, he is getting all the publicity as the guy to watch in the red zone. They're probably right. Kubiak loves Daniels, and the Broncos will target him in the red zone, but don't sleep on Virgil Green.
The Broncos tight end only has 12 receptions for 173 yards, and one touchdown this season, but I think he could be a secret weapon on Sunday. He is probably
He's athletic, and could be a matchup problem in the red zone for the Panthers. I still don't know why the Broncos do not use Green in the passing game much, but it's possible he could see a few looks in the Super Bowl.
I wanted to put Vernon Davis here. I mean he is playing at his former home stadium and the Broncos traded for him for situations like this, but he has been basically invisible since coming to the Broncos.
I still think they will try to get him involved like they did early on against the Patriots, but I'm not getting my hopes up anymore.
Kicker Brandon McManus:
Brandon McManus has been the Broncos best offensive weapon at times this season. He has kicked long field goals, clutch field goals and sometimes has been the only way the Broncos scored points that day.
He carried over his successful play into the postseason. He went 5 for 5 against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Divisional Round and went 2 for 2 in the AFC Championship game. He will try to remain perfect in the Super Bowl.
It's likely the Broncos will rely on McManus, at least, a few times in the game. The Broncos offense does tend to stall out, and they will call on McManus.
If this game remains close, a McManus kick could be the difference between a win or loss.
Running back Ronnie Hillman:
Can the starting running really be called 'Surprise Super Bowl hero?'? In this case, yes.
Hillman is only averaging 2 yards per carry this postseason. His running back partner C.J. Anderson have been much more productive with a 4.6 yards per carry average. This is leading many to believe(myself included) that C.J. Anderson is the key to this game.
With that said, I'm still holding out hope that Hillman can have a big impact for the Broncos. His speed always makes him a home run threat, and it only takes on carry or reception for him to take it all the way.
A big outing from Hillman paired with Anderson's hard-hitting running style could go a long way in helping the Broncos win Super Bowl 50.