Not much has gone right for the Denver Broncos in their 2022 season. In the offseason, the team added quarterback Russell Wilson and offensive-minded head coach Nathaniel Hackett in an effort to jump-start the struggling offense. Unfortunately, there has been little success in improving the offense.

The current Broncos team looks very unprepared. In what was supposed to be the “easiest” part of the Broncos’ schedule, they instead made it to the bye week with a miserable record of 3-5. There has been plenty of finger-pointing regarding who exactly is to blame for the poor start. In truth, it’s a combination of factors.

But right now, let’s discuss some players who are having a great 2022 campaign, and those who are really struggling and are contributing to the Broncos’ poor start.

Broncos’ best players

OL Quinn Meinerz

Meinerz, who is in his second season with the Broncos, has been a very pleasant surprise for the team. The second-year offensive lineman was selected in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft out of Division III school Wisconsin-Whitewater.

After being drafted, it didn’t take long for Meinerz to gain a starting role on the Broncos’ offensive line. And over the past few seasons, he has been Denver’s best performing offensive lineman.

In the 2022 season, Meinerz has been given some of the highest PFF grades on the team. In fact, PFF ranked him as the fifth-best guard in the league with a grade of 79.0. Meinerz is also a beast in the run game, with a great PFF grade of 84.9.

Meinerz is one of the few bright spots along the shabby Broncos offensive line. Don’t be surprised if Denver completely rebuilds the offensive line around Meinerz next season.

CB Patrick Surtain II

Surtain is another stellar pick George Paton made in his first season as general manager. The Broncos selected Surtain in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Like Meinerz, Surtain quickly became a starter on the team.

In just his second year in the league, Surtain is already regarded as one of the best cornerbacks in the league. Week in and week out in 2022, Surtain has locked down big-name wide receivers like Deebo Samuel, Davante Adams, and more.

Opposing quarterbacks rarely throw Surtain’s way, and for good reason. According to PFF, Surtain is one of four cornerbacks in the league to not give up a touchdown this season in coverage (with a minimum of 300 defensive snaps.) Surtain also has a stellar PFF average grade of 85.8.

Yes, the Broncos’ record is not good right now. But they have a young star in Surtain to build the secondary around for years to come.

Broncos’ worst players

RB Melvin Gordon

During the offseason, the Broncos re-signed Gordon to a one-year deal. The move was a bit of a head-scratcher, considering Javonte Williams had proven in his rookie campaign that he was the better running back.

Gordon had an incredibly rough start to his 2022 season. For the first few games of the season, Gordon had a hard time hanging onto the ball, fumbling in four consecutive games. There were also instances where he would fumble but had a lucky break where the offense recovered the ball. Regardless, fumble issues are a death wish for running backs.

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With the season-ending injury to Williams, not a lot of trust has been placed in Gordon to be RB1. Doubt in Gordon isn’t unwarranted, though. PFF has given Gordon a 50.8 average grade on the season. He is also ranked by PFF as the 59th-ranked running back out of 60.

Over the weeks, Gordon’s snap count has slightly diminished. The Broncos also have turned more to Latavius Murray, who was signed a few weeks ago off the New Orleans Saints’ practice squad. The Broncos also acquired Chase Edmonds in a trade with the Miami Dolphins, so this move could further cut into Gordon’s snaps. Regardless, the remainder of Gordon’s 2022 season doesn’t look too good.

DL DeShawn Williams

The Broncos’ defense continues to be dominant, despite the offense’s woes. In fact, the defense has been mostly responsible for keeping all of Denver’s games close this year.

The Broncos’ run defense has had its up-and-down weeks, however. Against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 4, the run defense allowed Josh Jacobs to gallop for 144 rush yards and two touchdowns. Against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 8, they also allowed Travis Etienne to run for 156 yards and one touchdown.

The Broncos’ interior run-stopping unit includes DeShawn Williams, who is one of the lowest-ranked players on defense. With a total of 268 snaps on the year, PFF has given Williams an abysmal average grade of 49.7. When on run defense, Williams has an even worse grade of 41.3. Regarding pass rush, there is a bit of an improvement with his grade being 56.4.

With the recent trade of Bradley Chubb, the Broncos are going to be noticeably thinner along the entire defensive line. Players like Williams will need to step up if they want to make any improvements to stopping the run.