The Denver Broncos had an astounding 167 rushing yards in the first quarter against the New England Patriots. That was their highest first quarter rushing total in 20 years.
The team leads the league in rushing with 163.1 yards per game. That’s 12 more yards per game than the next leading rush team, the Houston Texans.
It’s clear that the Broncos are putting in a lot of attempts, but they’re averaging 4.9 yards per carry. Give credit where credit is due. Along with the Broncos backfield, the team’s offensive line has literally pushed the team to their No. 1 ranking.
“Ever since the Oakland opener, they’ve gotten better every week,” offensive coordinator Mike McCoy said of his offensive line. “That’s just something that was going to take time coming together with the limited practices we had going into the season.”
The offensive line averages 25.6 years old. The group has one rookie (Orlando Franklin), but the rest of them played together last year. McCoy thinks that having pretty much the same group back has made all the difference.
“It helps a lot and it also helps when you have the same guys in the backfield,” McCoy said.
Willis McGahee has torn fields up on his way to being the 11th overall back in the league. He’s averaging 76.2 yards per game and he takes a lot of pressure off of the passing game.
Running backs coach Eric Studesville pushed hard for the Broncos to sign McGahee in the off season.
“He’s exactly the way Eric (Studesville) told us he was going to be when he got here,” McCoy said. “That’s the best thing about it. That’s why Eric pushed so hard to get him when we knew he was going to be free. He’s been the perfect fit for us. He’s been the guy to pound it out for us. He’s exactly what you’re looking for.”
The Broncos rushing game is exactly what everyone had been looking for. It was just last season when the team was ranked 31st in the league at one point.
With a heavy rushing attack, the John Fox era looks promising.