Tommy Kelly readily shows his size to running backs. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Broncos Face Challenge Against Raiders' Defensive Line

After the Broncos’ Monday Night opener in September, we were left scratching our heads in terms of the run game. It appeared that the Broncos took a step back from even last season when they were ranked 26th in the league on the ground. They had just 38 yards on 13 carries in front of a national audience. That was the game when the coaching staff thought the Knowshon Moreno was still capable of being a starting back.

Since the Broncos last played Oakland, they have busted the run game wide open. They rank 8th in yards per game (125.9) and Willis McGahee is have a great season averaging 76.7 yards per game.

The Raiders strength is their size and speed up front. Tommy Kelly and Richard Seymour are both 6’6” and weigh at least 300 lbs. Jarvis Moss is 6’7″ and Lamarr Houston is over 300 lbs. That begs the question, do the Bronco have a QB that’s 6’5″ and a running back that’s 250lbs.? That’s one beefy defensive line.

That’s also why the Broncos had so much trouble running the ball in week 1.

“We came out and they beat us up pretty good up front,” offensive coordinator Mike McCoy said. “Then we started throwing to often too early in the game. We kind of got away from the run. When you look back, you say ‘hey this is a football team that you’ve just got to keep pounding the rock against.’”

That’s exactly what the Broncos will do against the Raiders on Sunday. They will pound and grind out yards to keep the chains moving and the play clock in their favor.

The Raiders are ranked 16th against the run, showing that their run defense has declined since week one.

With McGahee returning after missing last week and the Raiders pressuring Tim Tebow, the Broncos ground game should have a better showing than it did back in September.

The Raiders’ front four look a lot like Detroit’s front four.

“They’re very physical, very similar to the group that we just played,” McCoy said.

Against the Lions, the Broncos had 195 yards on the ground.

Like anything, a healthy balance on offense will get the Broncos moving downfield in point them in the direction of a win.

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Tags: Denver Broncos Oakland Raiders Richard Seymour Tommy Kelly Willis Mcgahee

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