If you’re anything like me, you can’t help but notice former members Denver Broncos as you watch other NFL teams at play. With the Broncos missing the playoffs for a sixth straight year, this time of year that often leads to a lot of second guessing, but it also gives me players to root for on their journey to the Super Bowl. So after digesting all of the games, I thought it’d make sense to share who stood out.
Isaiah McKenzie had his best day of the year in the Bills’ historic performance. The Broncos’ 2017 third round pick carried the ball three times for 29 yards and caught all three of his Josh Allen targets for 45 yards in addition to his normal kick return duties. Half of his offensive touches moved the sticks.
Emmanuel Sanders didn’t receive as many touches as his teammate, but he burned the Patriots’ Joejuan Williams to haul in a 34-yard score. The 34-year-old also created a stir before the game for his choice of cleats, which honored former teammate and Broncos’ great Demaryius Thomas.
Myles Bryant is often a victim of playing a tough position. Gotta remember other guys get paid too— Taylor Kyles (@tkyles39) January 17, 2022
Isaiah McKenzie completely sells the crosser with his eyes/head and earns separation, but Bryant still plays through the hands to affect the catch point
#19 has really blossomed pic.twitter.com/2FMZlTq9cB
Shaq Barrett made it back from the knee injury that knocked him out of the back end of the regular season to make one of the best plays of the weekend. Barrett batted a Jalen Hurts pass up in the air before securing it for an interception. Beyond the pick Barrett quietly played a key part in the Bucs completely shutting down Philly’s rushing attack, and parts of Broncos Country continues to wonder if Elway’s decision to let him go for Bradley Chubb was a mistake.
Wes Welker and Bobby Turner are members of the 49ers coaching staff that deserve some credit for the way Elijah Mitchell and Deebo Samuel performed. San Francisco was able to march down the field for the opening score and finished with 169 rushing yards on 38 carries despite facing loaded boxes for most of the afternoon.
Deebo Samuel played his high school ball about 10 minutes from my house. One of the good dudes in the NFL—and one helluva offensive weapon. @CHSPanthersFB’s own @19problemz.— John Ellis (@1PantherPlace) January 17, 2022
Von Miller made a point to honor Demaryius Thomas’ memory before the opening kickoff and looked like the future Hall of Fame he is after. All week leading up to this game he looked like a mismatch for the Cards’ tackles and delivered as hoped, finishing the game with a sack and six tackles. More than the individual numbers, what stood out is how Miller and the pass rush was instrumental in Kyler Murray’s worst performance of the year.
Which former Broncos stood out most in the first round of the NFL playoffs?
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