RB Jaleel McLaughlin
Head coach Sean Payton talked earlier this week about Stidham potentially bringing a spark to the offense, but who knew running back Jaleel McLaughlin would be the biggest spark of them all? The rookie undrafted back totaled eight rushing attempts for 44 yards on the ground (5.5 yards per carry) and added three receptions for 18 yards as well. Any time it felt as if Denver's offense was in a slump, McLaughlin would pop off a first-down run or take a check down for appreciable yardage. McLaughlin was certainly the unsung hero for the Broncos offense on New Year's Eve.
LB Drew Sanders
Broncos rookie linebacker Drew Sanders may not have had the most opportunities but when his number was called, he made the most of it. The third-round pick made a nice tackle on Los Angeles' fake punt preventing the Chargers from converting on fourth down. In addition, Sanders also made a clutch tackle in the fourth quarter on third down before the Chargers missed their field goal attempt the next play. Sanders had an underrated impact on the outcome of this game.
P Riley Dixon
How about some love for Riley Dixon?! The veteran punter booted five punts for 243 total yards (48.6 average) and landed three of them inside the 20-yard line including a 63-yard bomb in the first half. Because of Dixon, Denver was able to win the special teams battle and repeatedly put Los Angeles' offense in poor starting field positions. It was arguably Dixon's best game of the season and a key component in the Broncos victory.