The Denver Broncos announced the winners of two team-specific awards – the Darrent Williams Good Guy Award and the Demaryius Thomas Team MVP Award – on Thursday, and Dalton Risner and Patrick Surtain II are the victors, respectively.

The Darrent Williams Good Guy Award is named in memory of Darrent Williams, who was tragically killed early into his Broncos career, and honors the ‘enthusiasm, cooperation and honesty while dealing with members of the press,’ which Williams was well-known for. 

It’s the first time Risner has won the award, though it shouldn’t be a surprise, as he’s already been named the team’s nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, demonstrating the great person Risner is outside of the game of football. Risner’s been especially gracious with the media, despite the Denver Broncos’ rocky season, and so it makes sense to see him honored here.

Teddy Bridgewater earned the honor last season.

Meanwhile, Surtain becomes the second-ever player to win the self-explanatory Demaryius Thomas Team MVP Award, after the award’s creation in 2021. Last year, the award was given to Justin Simmons, who has long been heralded as the best player on the Denver Broncos. 

Seeing that award instead go to Patrick Surtain II this season feels representative of the torch-passing, from Simmons to Surtain, as the face of the franchise, that we’ve witnessed in 2022.

Surtain earned the award for being a lockdown cornerback and a game-changing force for the Denver Broncos all season. Although he suffered a minor hiccup against Davante Adams and D.J. Moore, Surtain has faced a bevy of elite receivers this season and has locked down almost all of them, including the aforementioned Adams, in their first matchup.

“Patrick [Surtain II]’s an elite athlete that plays at an elite level,” interim head coach Jerry Rosburg said, of Surtain winning the commendation. “And, well frankly, not all athletes play at an elite level, but he does. His demeanor, to me — we all think of football players as these ferocious beasts, and some of them are very much that — but Patrick has such a cool about him, and he plays at such a high speed, that it almost looks easy. And that’s probably the most difficult position on the field. I’ve had a coach friend that one time said, ‘I’m not trying to make this look difficult,’ and I think he’s a really good demonstration of that. He makes one of the most difficult things in football — we all understand what a shutdown corner is, and how important that is to the scheme and the concept of forming a football team — and he does it with great panache.”

At least Broncos Country can cling to that, in these troubling times.