The Denver Broncos’ 5-12 record was a far cry from where everyone predicted them to finish the season. 

However, some standout players created a different narrative for themselves. Here are five players whose play on the field exceeded their original 2022 expectations.

Latavius Murray, RB

Murray was a late addition to the Broncos, but he quickly became one of the biggest offensive powerhouses.

The 32-year-old running back joined Denver from the New Orleans Saints practice squad in Week 6 to fill the void left by Javonte Williams’ season-ending injury. Although he started out splitting carries with Melvin Gordon, after Gordon’s release, Murray became the surefire No. 1. On 160 carries, he rushed for 703 yards, averaging 4.4 yards per carry, and scored five touchdowns in Denver. It was his first season hitting at least 700 yards since 2017. His performance has fans clamoring for his 2023 return.

Alex Singleton, LB

Not only did Singleton hit career highs in 2022, but he finished the season as No. 5 among the entire NFL in total tackles with 163. 

While he had made some noise as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles in 2020 and 2021, the belief was that he’d contribute primarily on special teams. However, injuries at ILB pushed Singleton into a starting position. He went on to lead the team in sacks and even broke the single-season game record for the franchise. Not bad for a guy who had been previously cut 15 times and only made $1.12 million for the season.

Singleton deserves to be rewarded after that career year.

Damarri Mathis, CB

A rookie who was drafted in the fourth round, Mathis had a rough start to his first year.

Listed initially as a backup, Mathis got his first start in Week 5 due to an injury to Ronald Darby. Unfortunately, he drew four pass-interference penalties in the game, worth 87 yards. Mathis didn’t let it determine the trajectory for the rest of his season, though. For the remainder of the season, he didn’t endure any more interference calls and finished in the top 5 on the team for tackles. One of his most impressive showings came in Week 14 when he only allowed 20 yards receiving despite going up against Travis Kelce and Juju Smith-Schuster. Mathis should go into 2023 having earned the starting job.

Jerry Jeudy, WR

Jeudy finally had the explosive season fans knew he was destined to have.

The consensus going into the season was that he would be the team’s No. 2 receiver, and there was lots of debate over whether or not he should be traded. Instead, he led the team in receptions, receiving yards, yards per game, and touchdowns. Just shy of hitting 1,000 yards, Jeudy finished with a career-best 972. His six touchdowns were also a career-high and a massive spike from the previous season’s zero. Not only did he solidify himself as the team’s No. 1 receiver going into 2023, but picking up his fifth-year option is now a no-brainer.

Baron Browning, OLB

Browning went into his second season in a new position. Originally an inside linebacker, Browning moved to the edge taking his play to a new level.

His 2022 start debut came with his first NFL sack, five tackles, two for loss, and six quarterback hits. Browning finished the year with the third most sacks on the team at five. Though some midseason injuries limited him, he closed out Week 18 with one final sack (and an awe-inspiring celebration dance). With an entire season on the outside under his belt, Browning will enter 2023 as a certified starter.