Sep 14, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos running back Montee Ball (28) runs the ball during the second half against the Kansas City Chiefs at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
The game against the Kansas City Chiefs was not a pretty one for the Denver Broncos, but one area that did do well was the running game. That unit came through in perhaps the biggest way possible.
The team has been known the past couple of years of throwing the ball to obtain the yards, thanks to having one of the best quarterbacks to probably ever play the game in Peyton Manning. It seems as if the running game seems to be an afterthought for opposing defenses. Sunday afternoon, Montee Ball and C.J. Anderson had some solid runs that made it easier for Manning to continue the drive. Even though the team only finished with 88 total yards on the ground, it was the way they were running that caught my eyes, especially on one play.
With the Broncos offense facing a third and 24, most teams decide to just go with the draw play and see what the defense can do. The Broncos did just that, but were probably not anticipating what would happen on that play. Montee Ball took the handoff, broke a couple of tackles, and ran as best as he could. The Chiefs managed to stop him just about a yard short of the first down. A 23 yard run by Montee Ball would lead to a no huddle fourth and one run that kept the drive alive and chewed up even more clock to prevent a late comeback. The key for the running game is to eat up the clock in critical situations, and at various points in the game, they were able to do so.
Sep 14, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos running back C.J. Anderson (22) runs the ball during the second half against the Kansas City Chiefs at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Montee Ball was not alone in the running game. C.J. Anderson also had some nice runs during the game, including a 13-yard bruising run. The Broncos could have their own one-two punch in the league if both of these runners can continue to improve. They have a solid amount of running backs that each have their own special way of contributing to the offense. This is a week by week basis and pretty soon the Broncos run game will be a solid bunch, especially if they can utilize the running game in the second half while they are leading by a significant margin.
The running game will be tested as the Broncos square off against the Seattle Seahawks, but if they can get going against the so-called “Legion of Boom” defense, it will bring a new element to the offense that seemed nonexistent in the past. I think the running game can get the job done when it matters most.