While this decade is closing out on four straight seasons of missing the playoffs, it’s also been one to remember for the Denver Broncos’ successes.

It’s been a roller coaster ride of emotions and through the wins and losses this last 10 years; Denver’s seen five different coaches but also went to two Super Bowls and were victorious in Super Bowl 50.

Leading the Broncos through this last decade have been a whole host of interesting characters and some of the biggest stars in Denver sports history. Let’s take a walk down memory lane and celebrate them all here in our Broncos’ top-10 players of the decade.

10. Ryan Clady — Clady was the final draft pick from the Mike Shanahan Era, dating back to 2008, and while he enjoyed some great years in the previous decade, Clady balled out in the first half of this current decade, too. The left tackle was the anchor of the offensive line, playing five years this decade and earning three trips to the Pro Bowl and one All-Pro nod.

9. Emmanuel Sanders — Sanders was an old-school showman of a receiver in Denver from 2014 through mid-2019. After starting his career in Pittsburgh, Sanders really blossomed as one of the NFL’s best slot receivers in the Mile High City. He enjoyed three straight seasons with over 1,000 yards receiving, including his career-year in 2014 with 1,404 yards and nine touchdowns, each highs. As his career with the Broncos evolved, he continued to be that deep-ball threat willing to lay out for a reception or take a huge hit and keep on ticking. And when he got up, he took a bow for the crowd; what an entertainer!

In only 78 games with the team, Sanders finished No. 10 in Broncos history in terms of receiving yards (5,361), seventh in receptions (404) and 12th in touchdowns (28).

Best moment: In Week 7 of the 2018 season, Sanders went off. Not only did he enjoy a 100-yard receiving day, with a touchdown, but he threw a touchdown to Courtland Sutton, too.

8. Aqib Talib — Talib was one of the bad boys of the “No Fly Zone” accompanied by T.J. Ward. Yes, that elite secondary was elite on the field, but they also had plenty of swagger and toughness to them, too. Talib — who was twice penalized for personal fouls in Super Bowl 50, including a ridiculous tackle by a face mask — didn’t take gruff from anyone. He famously ripped off the chain of Raiders receiver Michael Crabtree and didn’t even get a penalty called on him. Savage. While he only played 58 games in the Mile High City, Talib picked off 11 passes and scored on six of them, which is the most touchdowns scored by a Denver defender ever. He also ranks fourth all-time in Denver for passes defensed (48).

Best moment: With the Broncos trailing 13-9 in Week 1 of the 2015 season, Talib’s pick-6 late in the game not only pushed Denver ahead, it gave them the 16-13 win to start their Super Bowl season off with a victory.

7. Champ Bailey — Only four of Champ’s seasons with Denver came in this decade, but he had to make the list. The newly anointed Hall of Famer still picked off six passes, defensed 34 throws, forced a fumble and recorded a sack in those final four years. Unfortunately, he was older and a shadow of his former self in Super Bowl XLVIII, the blowout loss to the Seattle Seahawks. The one thing which eluded Champ was to become a champion.

Best moment: With the Broncos up four, on the road in Week 8 of the 2012 season, Champ picked off Andy Dalton as he tried to pass to A.J. Green. The Broncos drove for a score to expand their lead after the interception and eventually won the game.

6. DeMarcus Ware — Speaking of Hall of Fame; Canton, Ohio will soon be calling for DeMarcus Ware. In his three seasons with Denver, Ware was still a quarterback terror, putting up 21.5 sacks over that span. When he wasn’t getting sacks, Ware was still hitting QBs on the regular (48 QB hits) or batting the ball down at the line of scrimmage (2) while with the Broncos. He even had three forced fumbles and a pick. During the 2014 season, he and Von Miller combined for 24 sacks, making them the most talented duo on the edge. It can’t be missed that Ware helped teach Miller, passing down the pass-rushing art, which Miller has recently done himself with the Pass Rushing Summit he hosts.

Best moment: In Week 7 of 2014, Ware racked up a three-sack game against the San Francisco 49ers, his most in a single contest with the Broncos.

5. C.J. Anderson — Anderson is another in a long line of excellent undrafted picks found by John Elway after the draft. When he left the team, he was No. 9 all-time in terms of yards (3,051), 10th in touchdowns (20) and 13th in yards per game (52.6). He was a best around the goal line and an essential piece of the Broncos Super Bowl-winning offense. Anderson wasn’t just a great runner, though, he was also a phenomenal blocker and a strong receiver out of the backfield. He caught 104 passes for 849 yards and four touchdowns in his five years with the Broncos.

Best moment: The overtime trot into the end zone to beat the unbeaten New England Patriots in the snow in the Mile High City was magical. The Pats were 10-0 entering that game, but Anderson’s 48-yard rush in overtime sealed the Broncos win and set the stage for the later AFC Championship Game in Denver, too.

4. Demaryius Thomas — Thomas earned a bad wrap with the Broncos for dropping the football at key moments. And, simply for dropping the ball too often. The criticisms are warranted, but Thomas is still the fourth-best player of this decade and arguably the best receiver in Broncos history.

His 9,055 receiving yards are second-most in team history as are his 60 touchdowns, with Rod Smith as the all-time leader in those categories. And, his 665 receptions are third; all of that came during this decade. D.T. was a big, strong, physical threat at wide receiver and once he had Peyton Manning throwing him the football, he really shined.

Best moment: Undoubtedly the best play of his career and arguably one of the biggest plays in Broncos history was his 80-yard catch and run courtesy of Tim Tebow in the overtime playoff win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Jan. 2012. It was the quickest end to an overtime game in history.

3. Chris Harris Jr. — Harris is probably the best undrafted free agent the Broncos have ever found, although, the list is long (and even includes C.J. Anderson from this list). Harris has been a stalwart star, working and grinding for everything he’s ever earned. While he was quickly becoming one of the league’s best shut-down cornerbacks, football experts from across the country were sleeping on “Strap Harris.” His career accolades are long: 523 tackles, 20 interceptions, 85 passes defensed, four pick-6es, six forced fumbles, 10 QB hits and 4.5 sacks.

Simply, he can do it all and has for the last nine years, whether that means making a tackle on a running back, blanketing the No. 1 receiver or playing in the slot.

2. Von Miller — Miller has already established himself as the greatest defender in Denver history and all of that success came during this decade. He was the AP Defensive Rookie of the year, a three-time All-Pro, is now the Broncos all-time leader in sacks with 105 and he was Super Bowl 50’s MVP.

What’s been shocking and telling of his otherworldly abilities is his staying in his prime for eight-plus seasons. Miller is no one-trick pony, he utilizes his incredible speed to get around the edge of offensive tackles, but he’s also developed the power-rush, the spin move (in part thanks to Ware) and he stunts from time to time as well. After he racks up those devastating and usually drive-ending sacks, Miller continues the show as he dances for everyone to see. And, he’s not just a phenomenal pass-rusher. Miller is one of the best run defenders from his position annually.

Best moment: This one is easy: The 2.5 sack game against then-NFL MVP Cam Newton — who looked like he couldn’t be stopped in 2015 — in Super Bowl 50. Miller strip-sacked Newton twice and simultaneously “broke” the star quarterback in that game as he carried the Broncos to their third championship.

1. Peyton Manning — Manning is likely the best quarterback to ever play for the Broncos, and that’s no slight to John Elway. If we look at just what Manning did in Denver — like we did with everyone else — the numbers are still staggering.

He passed for 17,112 yards, 140 touchdowns compared to 53 interceptions and his passer rating (101.7) was better than it was in Indianapolis. He’s second to only Elway in yards, touchdowns and wins in team history while possessing the best completion percentage by far.

Best: Manning’s 2013 season was undeniably great; he put 55 touchdowns on the board, a new NFL record. He also threw 10 touchdowns to five different players that year, another NFL record. When that season was said and done, Denver’s offense was the greatest single-season offense in the history of the NFL.

Honorable mention: Phillip Lindsay — Lindsay has a relatively short resume compared to his contemporaries on this list, but his time in the NFL has been certainly memorable. As a rookie, he rushed for over 1,000 yards and became the first-ever undrafted rookie running back to make the Pro Bowl. His rookie season, Lindsay averaged an NFL-best 5.4 yards per carry and he’s following it up with another solid season and 4.5 YPC average. With another 151 yards in his final two games, the Colorado native will become the first Broncos running back to run for 1,000 yards in back-to-back seasons since Clinton Portis way back in 2002-03. Lindsay’s our look to the future and the positives which lie ahead for the Broncos.

More honorable mention: Derek Wolfe, Knowshon Moreno, Wesley Woodyard, Courtland Sutton, Brandon Marshall (LB).