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Gray Matter Mailbag: Midseason MVP

Posted Nov 1, 2013

The bye-week edition of the Gray Matter mailbag answers a fan question on the Broncos MVP candidates at the midway point of the season.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- It's the bye week, but there's still plenty of new content on DenverBroncos.com every day throughout this break. Perhaps the most exciting pieces of that content are the countdowns of the top plays on offense, defense and special teams from the first half of the season. So make sure you check that out.

The content doesn't stop, but it's still the bye week for everyone in the organization. So before I head up to Breckenridge with my wife, let's get a quick Gray Matter mailbag in.

As always, you can tweet me your questions using the hashtag #GrayMatter to @GrayCaldwell. Thanks for this week's submissions.

Ah, sneaking two questions into one tweet. Brilliant strategy. The first one is an interesting question. Outside of Peyton Manning, who very well may be the MVP of the entire league for the first half of the season, there are several viable candidates. Let's stick to the offensive side of the ball, since that group is on a record pace.

I think it's between Knowshon Moreno and Wes Welker. Welker has scored in every single game this season and leads the league in receiving touchdowns. He's on pace for 100 catches for more than 1,100 yards, and that would be the sixth time in the past seven seasons that he has accomplished that feat. Moreno, meanwhile, leads the league with eight rushing touchdowns. He has also added another score via reception. His 743 yards from scrimmage -- 456 on the ground and 287 in the air -- rank seventh in the league.

Both players' nine total touchdowns are tied for the league lead. Moreno has helped keep the offense balanced, but Welker has helped make the passing attack so dangerous. In other words, I'm going to chicken out and name two first-half MVPs not named Peyton Maning.

As far as the aspect that needs the most improvement, I'd say turnovers and penalties. If the Broncos eliminate their own mistakes, it makes the team that much more dangerous.

This is a question I've gotten a few times on Twitter, so thought it was a good one to answer. No, there's no chance Clady can come back for the playoffs this year. He's on injured reserve without a designation to return. So he is officially out for the duration of the 2013 campaign, no matter how far the Broncos go.

Peyton Manning said C.J. Anderson gave the offense "a spark when he popped in there," and Head Coach John Fox agreed that the rookie "did well." But he acknowledged that Anderson looked like a running back playing in his first NFL game.

As far as whether Anderson will get another shot on the active roster or if Hillman will be active on game days -- or both -- it might be a game of numbers each week. The team clearly thinks highly of both players -- Anderson made the 53-man roster as an undrafted player and Hillman was drafted in the third round of the NFL Draft -- so expect both to continue to get shots going forward. How it will play out in the immediate future, i.e. Week 10 after the bye, Fox wasn't ready to address that quite yet.

“Again, I don’t know. We’re kind of day-to-day," he said. "During the bye week we won’t be rushing through any kind of gameday activations, so I don’t know if it’d be good to talk about that at this point."