The Broncos' special-teams unit has emerged as one of the top groups in the league and has played a pivotal role in Denver's three wins. From kicker Wil Lutz's two game-winning field goals to rookie wide receiver Marvin Mims Jr.'s stellar punt and kick returns, here are some of the best special teams plays from the first half of the season, as selected by the DenverBroncos.com staff.
5. Broncos stop Chiefs on fake field-goal attempt, Week 6 at Chiefs
In one of the more underrated plays of the season, the Broncos' special-teams unit used quick thinking and strength to stifle a Kansas City fake field-goal attempt in the teams' first meeting. The Chiefs tried to catch Denver's defensive front off-guard by rushing up the middle instead of attempting a field goal. Instead, the Broncos came up for a key stop for a turnover on downs and slowed Kansas City's momentum.
4. WR Marvin Mims Jr. takes it all the way for a 99-yard kickoff-return touchdown, Week 3 at Miami
Mims is one of only two players to score on a kickoff return this season, and his 99-yard score against Miami was the pinnacle of his impressive highlight reel on special teams. After fielding the kickoff just in front of the end zone, Mims started off toward the right sideline, then reversed field and found daylight. Once Mims passed Miami kicker Jason Sanders near midfield, the rookie had a clear path for a 99-yard score.
3. K Wil Lutz connects on a go-ahead 51-yard field goal to beat Chicago, Week 4 at Bears
While all three units contributed to the Broncos' 21-point comeback win over the Bears in Week 4, the special teams provided the go-ahead score on Lutz's 51-yard boot. Lutz's kick from the right hash straightened out and went through to give the Broncos a 31-28 advantage. With only 1:46 remaining, the Bears' offense couldn't muster a response and the game ended on a Kareem Jackson interception.
2. ILB Drew Sanders recovers a muffed punt, Week 8 vs. Chiefs
The Broncos' five takeaways in their 24-9 win over the Kansas City Chiefs included a special-teams turnover via rookie inside linebacker Drew Sanders' fumble recovery on a Chiefs muffed punt. Just after Chiefs wide receiver Mecole Hardman coughed up Broncos punter Riley Dixon's punt, Sanders pounced on the ball for his first career fumble recovery and gave Denver possession inside the red zone in the fourth quarter. The takeaway proved to be a pivotal moment in the Broncos' streak-ending win over their division rivals.
1. K Wil Lutz hits a 52-yard field goal for his fourth field goal of the game and the lead, Week 7 vs. Packers
Lutz's most-productive outing as a Bronco came in Week 7 and culminated in his second game-winning field goal of the season. Lutz opened the game with 32-, 29- and 35-yard field goals to give Denver a 9-0 halftime lead against Green Bay, and the Broncos called his number again in the final minutes of regulation with the Packers ahead 17-16. Lutz was perfect on a season-long 52-yard field goal to give Denver the lead for good, securing the Broncos' first home victory.
Honorable mentions: Mims' 31-yard punt return, Week 8 vs. Chiefs; CB Tremon Smith's fumble recovery, Week 5 vs. Jets