Peyton Manning and Knowshon Moreno have been nominated for the FedEx Air and Ground Players of the Week with their week five performances against the Dallas Cowboys. Manning went 33-for-42 for 414 yards and four passing touchdowns while Moreno had 93 yards on 19 carries and a touchdown in the 51-48 win.
While we talk about Manning week after week, and rightfully so, we’re going to shift gears and talk about Moreno. Did you know that statistically speaking, he’s a top 5 running back in the league?
Moreno is averaging 5.1 yards per carry. For players with over 50 carries, Moreno only sits behind Alfred Morris (5.3 avg) and LeSean McCoy (5.2 avg). From that standpoint, he’s more productive than Adrian Peterson, Marshawn Lynch, and DeMarco Murray. Who would have guessed that would happen at the beginning of the season?
Moreno has 331 yards and five touchdowns through five games, which is remarkable for such a pass-happy offense.Not only that, but he has been a solid receiving threat as well, which he showed against the Cowboys with five receptions for 57 yards.
With the Broncos ditching Willis McGahee in the off season, and drafting Ronnie Hillman and Montee Ball early on in their respective drafts, people generally thought that Moreno would be gently guided to the curb.
“I’ve just seen him mature a lot, on and off the field,” John Fox said.
Hillman and Ball have struggled with fumbles dating back to preseason play, so Moreno’s experience and energy were welcomed with open arms. His experience really showed when the Broncos were winding down the clock at the end of the Cowboys game. Moreno was told to not get into the end zone, but gain one yard so that the Broncos could kick the winning field goal as the game clock hit 0:00.
That’s what Moreno has been good for all season — moving the chains and keeping the Broncos’ offense on the field.
The key for Moreno is to stay healthy. He’s struggled with injuries in the past, but at 5’11 and 220 pounds, Moreno seems to be at just the right playing weight.
If Moreno is doing all this, he can dance around as much as he likes out there.