If Case Keenum can replicate what he did with Minnesota last season, the Broncos could be returning to the postseason. 

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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — For the Denver Broncos to contend for the playoffs this season, here are the five players who can help make that happen:

Von Miller, outside linebacker: In a nicely appointed lobby of their suburban Denver complex, the Broncos have proof of what can happen when Miller is at his best: the Lombardi trophy from Super Bowl 50 when Miller was the game’s MVP. Miller needs 16.5 sacks to reach 100 for his career and if he is anything close to that total this season — he has topped 14 once in his career with 18.5 in 2012 — the Broncos will be in the games they want to be in during January and perhaps even February.

Case Keenum, quarterback: Keenum was the centerpiece of the Broncos’ work in free agency, their quarterback of choice to repair a turnover-prone offense that cycled through three different starting quarterbacks twice. Only the Cleveland Browns quarterbacks turned the ball over more than the Broncos quarterbacks did last season. The Broncos have bet Keenum’s career-best season in 2017 — 3,547 passing yards and 22 touchdowns with the Vikings — is just the start of his top-shelf work at quarterback. If they’re right, Keenum could help put the Broncos back in the postseason conversation.

We asked our NFL Nation beat reporters to identify the five players on each roster who will be vital in helping their team try to win Super Bowl LIII. Key players in 2018 »
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