NFL Denver Broncos

Denver Broncos: Top-5 players From First Half of Season

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Denver Broncos: The Top 5 Players in the First Half

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Brian Spurlock- USA TODAY Sports

After the Denver Broncos complete their game against the Washington Redskins, they will be halfway done this season.

With the season nearly halfway over, the Broncos could be sitting in prime positioning. A win on Sunday would give them a 7-1 start to the season or a loss would drop them to 6-2. Either record would be impressive through the first eight games of the season. But I am sure all Broncos fans want to see a 7-1 record going into the bye week. The offense is doing well, passing at will and having a solid running game. The defense could use some work, but they have made some plays that have helped them get to where they are. And while Trindon Holiday has not gotten a lot of chances to return on special teams, he is always poised to have a big return.

However you look at it, the Broncos are in a good spot. They are not too far behind the Kansas City Chiefs and are still considered one of the teams to beat in the AFC. It is a team effort that got them this far, but there are some players on both offense and defense that have helped the team get to where they are today. These players have gone out on every snap and have the potential to make that one play to bring the Broncos to victory.

Here are five Broncos players that have made an impact in different ways. They have made an impact by either taking a big role with a key player gone or have gotten off to a huge start to propel the team to their solid start during the season.

Tylor Walden is a Denver Broncos writer for Rantsports.com. Follow him on Twitter @TylorDWalden, “like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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5. Julius Thomas

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Brian Spurlock- USA TODAY Sports

Julius Thomas has been a surprise this season. Last season saw Joel Dreessen and Jacob Tamme catch the football from Peyton Manning at the tight end position. Here comes the basketball star from Portland State whom was plagued by injuries. He had only caught one pass before the start of the 2013 season and he has become an x-Factor in the Broncos' offense. While teams are busy covering the wide receivers, Thomas is out there making plays. Who knows, he could be the Broncos' version of Rob Gronkowski. Perhaps that is stretching it a little bit, but it will be interesting how teams plan on stopping a tight end who has the jump of a small forard. He has eight receiving touchdowns, which is impressive for a tight end.

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4. Wes Welker

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Ron Chenoy- USA TODAY Sports

Wes Welker came over to Denver from the New England Patriots and has been such a game changer for the Broncos' offense. The team got a big-time slot receiver, arguably the best one in the league. Before the last game, Welker had caught a touchdown in every single game. This has shown that he has the same abilities that have frustrated defensive coordinators when he was with the Patriots. Having another receiver at Manning's disposal has made the defense challenging to stop, even prepare for. Stop one or two wideouts and Manning has another one to throw to.

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3. Knowshon Moreno

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Ron Chenoy- USA TODAY Sports

While the passing game has been a huge impact this season, the running game has had their bright spots. Enter Knowshon Moreno. When the season began, he was apart of a running back committee along with Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman. Starting with Denver's second game, Moreno has started to slowly prove that he is the only running back that could carry the load. Not only is he a great runner for the team, but he can block for Manning and catch out of the backfield. And with Ball still learning the offense and Hillman struggling on ball security, Moreno has become a pleasant surprise for this offense and gives them another weapon.

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2. Shaun Phillips

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Ron Chenoy- USA TODAY Sports

When news broke that Von Miller would be suspended for the first six games of the regular season, all fans wondered who would replace him as that pass rusher. Shaun Phillips came to Denver as a free agent from their division rival San Diego Chargers. Phillips had made an impact as a pass rusher in Miller's absence. He would disrupt the opposing quarterbacks and has recorded 6.5 sacks and even forced a fumble in the first seven games of the season. If he can continue to improve, having two solid pass rushers can be a nightmare to teams.

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1. Peyton Manning

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Brian Spurlock- USA TODAY Sports

Coming to Denver as a free agent in 2012, Peyton Manning has made such a great impact on a team searching for a quarterback. While Tim Tebow was a proven winner, there was no way the Broncos were going to pass on a future hall of fame quarterback. Ever since the arrival, Manning has only lost four regular season games as a Bronco. And his numbers this year have been phenomenal with over 2,500 yards passing and 25 touchdowns to only three interceptions. If Manning can continue at this pace, records can be broken and more games will be won. The only question is will we see Manning hoisting the trophy at the end of the season?