It’s clear that the Broncos’ passing game was on fire the other night, but did it take away from the run game? Absolutely.
The team passed for 462 yards and ran for 65 yards against the Ravens in week one. It’s no wonder that Knowshon Moreno, Ronnie Hillman, and Montee Ball didn’t average more than 3.8 yards between the three of them.
“It’s probably we need to get more in a rhythm,” Hillman said. “Peyton [Manning] obviously went on a roll last week and we didn’t really have to run the ball until the end.”
Not only is it difficult to get into a rhythm with Manning throwing the ball at such a high success rate, but the Broncos are using a three-back system.
“It’s harder to get into a rhythm but at the end of the day, it kind of helps the running backs staying healthy for the remainder of the season, especially when you’re in an up-tempo offense like this,” Hillman said.
The Broncos’ backs know who is starting the game, but once it kicks off, they don’t know how the rotation will go or how much they’ll play.
That could help explain the reason for the lack of production in week one.
“It’s a work in progress,” John Fox said of the team’s running backs. “Like I said, we’re not looking in the rear view mirror. We’re looking out the front windshield.”
As much as could be made of the Broncos running game, it’s really a non-issue at this point. The backfield didn’t turn the ball over and they all averaged at least 3.0 yards per carry. Compare that to what the New York Giants had going on in their first game.
Featured back David Wilson fumbled twice and had seven carries for just 19 yards (2.7 avg.) before he was benched by Tom Coughlin. Things got so bad that they signed 31-year-old Brandon Jacobs this week for triage. Jacobs couldn’t get out of New York any faster when the team couldn’t meet his salary demands in 2012. After being released by the 49ers after last season, Jacobs said the Giants were the only team he’d play for. Jacobs had five carried for 7 yards in two games for the 49ers. The Giants are just hoping he can hold on to the ball.
That’s a desperate backfield situation. What the Broncos have? That’s a work in progress, no more, no less.