The Broncos have been struggling with their running game this season, and it’s led to speculation about what the team could do to improve. One idea that has come up is a change in the way they run plays.
The Denver Broncos record is the number of points that a team scores in one game. The Denver Broncos have had a great run game since the start of this season, but they are still waiting for their ‘physical offense’.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A debate about the importance of the run game is one of the few things that makes passing fans break out in hives.
If you throw in a term like “balancing” or “run-pass ratio,” some of those people may start breathing into a paper bag.
As a result, they may have all forgiven the Denver Broncos. The Broncos envision a role for the run game in 2021, even with the greatest combination of wide receivers and tight ends they’ve had since quarterback Peyton Manning. So much so that, gasp, it could even help quarterback Teddy Bridgewater have a little more space to pass and, perhaps, help them break the 22.2 point per game barrier for the first time since 2014.
Earlier in training camp, general manager George Paton remarked, “I’m seeing a physical offensive.” “We’re big and strong up front, and we have four running backs. They’re all capable of running the ball, and they’re all different in that they’re all physical. We need to be tough up front and in the run game to assist our passing game, in my opinion. I like our pass-catching weapons outside, as well as our tight ends.”
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They showed off a play-action system throughout the preseason and performed their finest work in the passing game with larger personnel groups like two tight ends or two running backs, including an 80-yard touchdown throw from Drew Lock to KJ Hamler in the preseason opener.
The Broncos’ offense topped the league in interceptions and turnovers overall last season, finishing 5-11. The squad seldom took the lead in games (27.9% of the time) and never had a six-game winning streak.
In that setting, the offense was nearly always playing catch-up, unable to protect the quarterback or move the ball effectively in the three-wide receiver look it preferred. In his first offseason on the job, Paton focused heavily on the offensive line, selecting running back Javonte Williams in the season round and signing free agent running back Mike Boone. They’ll be joined by Melvin Gordon, the league’s top rusher last season, and Royce Freeman.
Left tackle Garett Bolles stated, “Our run game is where it needs to be.” “We have some of the best running backs in the league. I believe our line is now more powerful, larger, and tougher than in the past. Because of how tight we are — how we move together, speak together, and eat together — this is the greatest Broncos O-line since I’ve been here. We work together on everything. It’s a wonderful bunch of men, and I adore each and every one of them.”
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Coach Vic Fangio believes the Broncos offense can test defenses by using lighter fronts and keeping pass rushers away from the quarterback. In the preseason, Fangio said that winning teams, even those with star quarterbacks, do not forsake the run game. Three of the last five Super Bowl champions have finished in the top seven in the league in running, with Tom Brady at the helm of two of them.
With preseason constraints in mind, the Broncos ran the ball more in the preseason than they threw it. Bridgewater went three preseason games without being sacked, did not make a turnover, and the Broncos scored on all but one of the possessions he played.
Broncos linebacker Bradley Chubb stated, “The running game is one of our strong strengths.” “All of those players are capable of running the ball at a high level. They can receive 20-30 touches a week and still produce huge chunks of yardage at the conclusion of the game. It’ll be a lot of fun. It will be very beneficial to us to have them grind and pound on the run. Teams won’t know what to do with us if we have [wide receivers] Courtland [Sutton], [Jerry] Jeudy, KJ [Hamler], and all those other guys catching passes.”
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