TEAM MVP: RB Phillip Lindsay: Since Day 1, Lindsay has made his mark with his rugged play, emerging as an offensive focal point and catalyst. It has been an unlikely ascendance for the undrafted free agent, whose play has been at center of Denver’s best efforts this season. Lindsay is a homegrown talent, having starred at a Denver high school before going on to Colorado and joining the Broncos. He has earned his place with the Broncos every step of the way, and established himself as a reliable ball handler and playmaker. And he has helped transform, with Royce Freeman and Devontae Booker, a Broncos rushing attack that has become one of the team’s greatest strengths.
BEST ROOKIE: The Broncos’ rookie class has had a major impact, from Phillip Lindsay, to receiver Courtland Sutton and running backs Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman. But after a slow start, top draft pick Bradley Chubb gets the title of best rookie. Chubb has seven sacks in eight games and leads all NFL rookies. He broke through for a three-sack game against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 6, and his presence has opened pass rushing opportunities for fellow linebacker Vin Miller by forcing teams to account for him in their pass protection schemes.
BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: Quarterback Chad Kelly. A promising second-year player who beat out Paxton Lynch to start the season as the backup Case Keenum, Kelly was cut loose by the Broncos two weeks ago after being arrested for trespassing. The nephew of Hall of Famer Jim Kelly, Chad Kelly had some behavioral issues in high school and college but Denver GM John Elway decided to take a chance on him after speaking to his old friend, Jim Kelly. The younger Kelly spent his rookie season learning the Broncos offense while recovering from injuries that kept him on the sideline. He came on strong in training camp, cementing his spot on the team with sparkling play in the preseason. But he ran afoul of the Broncos when he had another brush with the law. He left a team party and allegedly barged into a nearby home and the occupants called police to report him as an intruder. Police later arrested him and the next day, Elway informed him his days with the Broncos were over.