Broncos will need production from under-the-radar guys

denver broncos
Credit: Ron Chenoy, USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos are full of stars and studs on both sides of the football.

Peyton Manning is the quarterback. Von Miller is the star linebacker. Players like that are supposed to show up in big moments. They are paid big bucks to perform at the highest level.

But every great NFL team has guys on their roster that come up with big plays when they are not the most well-known players on the team. The underrated players are sometimes as important to the team as the big-salary guys.

The Broncos have some these players on their roster and they could see a lot of playing time in the second half of the season. On a team that is poised to make a Super Bowl run, some of these players will have make plays for the Broncos to achieve their ultimate goal.


Kayvon Webster

The rookie cornerback has seen some time on the field and has proven to be a pretty good player. He has shown a nose for the ball and not having a problem making a tackle.

Webster will play more in the second half of the season. Champ Bailey continues to struggle with injuries and there is a reason Webster jumped Quieten Jammer on the depth chart. Webster is a better player and he is also pushing Tony Carter out of the lineup.

The Broncos will face some high-powered passing offenses in the next couple games. The San Diego Chargers and New England Patriots can the throw the ball all over the field and the Broncos will have to play five and six defensive backs a lot. Webster is part of that mix and could make some plays.


Joel Dreessen

The former Colorado State standout tight end caught his first touchdown of the season against the Washington Redskins. He looked relieved to say the least. He has battled injuries and also lost his job to Julius Thomas.

But Dreessen will see the field a lot more in the second half for two reasons. One being the fact that Thomas hurt his ankle against Washington and could miss some time. Dreessen will also play more because of the Broncos offensive line struggles. Thomas is not known as a blocker and the line is battling injuries as well.

Dreessen is known as a strong blocker and if the Broncos want to keep Manning upright, Dreessen is going to have to play and he has shown he is more than capable of doing the job.


Matt Prater

He is going to have to make a clutch kick at some point this season. Prater was money during the 2011 season with Tim Tebow at quarterback. The Broncos were winning games 13-10.

Now with Manning under center, Denver is scoring touchdowns and have won games easily. The one loss to the Colts this season was close but it never came down to a field goal.

The last big-game kick Prater had was in the playoff loss to the Baltimore Ravens and it was ugly. The kicker barely got the ball off the ground and spoiled a chance for the Broncos to go up by 10 points at halftime. The rest is history.

A game will be close enough that Prater has to be clutch during the second half. He will have to be up to the challenge as he was during the Tebow run of 2011.


Derek Wolfe

Wolfe has been somewhat quiet through the first eight games of the season. He only has two sacks so far and really has not made much of an impact.

The former second-round pick has to take advantage of Miller’s return to the lineup and the solid play of veteran Shaun Phillips. Wolfe played well last year because of Elvis Dumervil and Miller. He needs to do the same with Phillips and Miller.

If Wolfe gets his game going, the Broncos could have three very strong pass rushers. And if Denver keeps getting leads, that could spell disaster for the opponent.


Chris Schmaedeke is currently the Assistant Sports Editor at the Daily Camera in Boulder. He has worked in sports journalism in Colorado since 2001 when he started at the Rocky Mountain News. He has covered the Denver Broncos for several websites over the past two years.

Follow Chris on Twitter at @ChrisSchmaedeke

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