Thanks to several putrid performances on the offensive side of the ball, the Denver Broncos’ once-promising 2017 season is on the verge of turning into a complete disaster.
The reason for the Broncos’ offensive woes is simple, according to head coach Vance Joseph.
“It’s the running game,” explained on Monday afternoon. “In our three victories, that’s where it started. We were in firm control of how we attacked the defense. When you’re behind the sticks so much – in our three losses it’s been that way. First down is a stuff, second down is a quick pass, incomplete, and now we’re third-and-10. Who wants to operate like that? Again, it’s a unit issue. We have to coach better and we have to play better, all of us.”
For the season, the Broncos are averaging 114.5 rushing yards per game, (15th in the league), 4.1 yards per carry (17th in the league), and they have scored only 3 rushing touchdowns (20th in the league).
If you break Denver’s rushing statistics down by wins and losses, the numbers are very revealing, and they back up Joseph’s claim.
|Chargers – Week 1 (win)||140||36||3.9||1|
|Cowboys – Week 2 (win)||178||39||4.6||1|
|Raiders – Week 4 (win)||143||32||4.5||0|
|Bills – Week 3 (loss)||111||23||4.8||1|
|Giants – Week 6 (loss)||46||17||2.7||0|
|Chargers – Week 7 (loss)||69||19||3.6||0|
Other than the obvious discrepancies in yards and yards per carry, there is a substantial drop in the number of rushing attempts the Broncos have in their three losses that is worth noting.
The drop in attempts signifies that the Broncos were quick to abandon the run (they fell behind in all three games), which has forced them to rely too heavily on struggling quarterback Trevor Siemian. As we have all learned, Siemian is not ready at this point in his career to carry an offense on his back.
Their offensive line clearly needs to play better, and in my eyes, it would be in the team’s best interest to commit to a two-man rotation at the running back position with veterans C.J. Anderson and Jamaal Charles going forward.
Regardless, for the Broncos to have any chance at salvaging their season and make a run in the AFC West, they will have to figure out a way to find success in the running game.
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