Denver Broncos: An optimistic view on the loss vs. Oakland

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Dec 13, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Oakland Raiders running back Latavius Murray (28) is tackled by Denver Broncos linebacker Shane Ray (56) during the first half at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

4. Shane Ray

It’s been a bit quiet, but Ray’s return has been very nice for the Broncos. He’s not playing starter snaps by any means, and he’s not putting up eye-popping numbers, but he’s been making some really nice contributions even late in games.

Look at his tackle late in the game against the Patriots to force a punt on what would eventually be the go-ahead touchdown drive before the Patriots fired back downfield for a game-tying field goal. He had just one tackle against the Raiders, but you can tell Ray has what it takes to be a good pass rusher in this league and I’ve really enjoyed what I have seen since he came back from his mid-season injury that put him out for over a month.

He’s biding his time right now, but Ray is learning from some of the best in the NFL right now, and the Broncos have him under control for the next four years. He’ll be terrorizing quarterbacks for a long time.