The Denver Broncos run game needs work. It was one of the few things in which fans had faith. But now, their running game seems to be dying a slow death.
The Denver Broncos Run Game Needs Work
Phillip Lindsay Was Meant to Shine
The biggest hope for the Broncos rested in Phillip Lindsay. But the two-time 1,000 yard rusher carried the ball just four times for two yards in the 37-12 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders. Melvin Gordon has had better luck this season, with 11 carries for 46 yards against the Raiders. He’s keeping to his end of the bargain – $16 million for two years to pair with Lindsay. It is just unfortunate that Lindsay isn’t fully healthy, but many running backs are in the same boat at this time of the season.
A Better Run Game Will Help Drew Lock
Drew Lock has thrown several interceptions, including four against the Raiders in Week 10. The only way for him to get back on the right path is for the team to get more production from their run game. Head coach Vic Fangio admits “that would be of great help.” The team has already tried implementing it but obviously, it didn’t quite work.
The Numbers Are Far From Good
Gordon has carried the ball 107 times for 439 yards and four touchdowns. Lindsay has carried 57 times for 312 yards and one touchdown. The Broncos are 22nd in the league in rushing attempts, 19th in rushing and tied for 24th in rushing touchdowns.
Lindsay already made it known he believes the run game can lift the Broncos offense. “Let’s face it, the team that can run the ball the best is going to win the game… you’re pushing it down the field, you’re punching them in the face.” Living off the pass alone will not suffice, and very few teams have successfully done that.
They Need to Generate More Run Game Opportunities
The game against the Raiders truly highlighted their lack of run game. The Raiders rushed for 203 yards while the Broncos totaled just 66. Las Vegas held the ball for all but four plays in the third quarter, running the ball 11 times over two scoring drives. When the Broncos were that far behind, they couldn’t claw back opportunities in the run game.
The Broncos haven’t held the lead for a minute in five of their six losses. Playing from far behind has further hindered any chance at a good run game. It’s unacceptable. The Raiders game was the last straw. Fangio knows everything must change now. “We didn’t play or coach good enough to stay in a game that was a four-point game at halftime and all of our fingerprints are on it… we’ve got to get regrouped… get our energies and emotions pointed in the right direction.”
The Lock/Lindsay/Gordon Vision Hasn’t Happened
The only quarterback in the league who has a passer rating worse than Lock is Sam Darnold. Let that sink in. The offense has scored 18 or fewer points in five games this season. That’s not even close to what everyone had expected – an offense that had Lock heavily supported by a Lindsay/Gordon run game. When Gordon was sidelined, it was Royce Freeman who stepped in. Perhaps he could have a bigger role in the future. Time will tell – but there isn’t much time.
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