The Denver Broncos have temporarily silenced the rebuild talks and "tank" speculation following a much-needed victory over the winless Chicago Bears in Week 4. Denver came back from down 28-7 in the third quarter to eventually sealing the win in the fourth quarter followed by a Wil Lutz game-winner and Kareem Jackson interception in the final moments.
Rather than dropping to a putrid 0-4 record on the new campaign, Russell Wilson and the Denver Broncos offense were able to rally the team to victory, despite recent ongoing speculation that the team would soon be imploding and in the stages of a rebuild. While there still remain many issues defensively for Denver, there are areas of improvement that fans should be optimistic about.
Denver Broncos Stock Up following win over Bears:
RB Jaleel McLaughlin
Big kudos to the undrafted rookie RB Jaleel McLaughlin out of Youngstown State for the performance he strung together on Sunday. With veteran RB Javonte Williams ruled out of the remainder of the game with a hip flexor injury, head coach Sean Payton called on McLaughlin to step into a game that had already seemed to be getting out of hand quickly. However, no challenge is too steep for the workhorse in Denver's backfield.
McLaughlin, 23, rushed seven times for 72 yards and caught three passes for 32 yards and a touchdown en route to Denver's first victory of the season. The young RB is simply too quick and agile to not be a skilled back and showed that on multiple occasions against Chicago's defense. He's tough to tackle and sees the field very well. Payton mentioned in his post-game press conference that he envisions an "increased role" for McLaughlin in the coming weeks and hopes to carry that spark moving forward.
OLB Nik Bonitto
Besides Russell Wilson, you can truly make a strong argument that second-year edge rusher Nik Bonitto was the best player on the football field for the Broncos on Sunday. Bonitto totaled four tackles, two and a half sacks, two QB hits, and a forced fumble that set up OLB Jonathon Cooper's game-tying fumble recovery touchdown. Despite the pass rush having yet again an underwhelming performance as a group for the Broncos, Bonitto was the lone bright spot with the starting nod over Randy Gregory.