Nov 30, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Denver Broncos running back C.J. Anderson (22) carries the football in the third quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. The Broncos defeated the Chiefs 29-16. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
The debate is over.
C.J. Anderson is the Denver Broncos running back.
No more talk of Montee Ball. No more talk of Ronnie Hillman.
Anderson is the man.
He may get spilled by Juwan Thompson, and the Broncos may use Hillman as a change of pace back, but that’s it.
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Anderson is developing chemistry with his offensive line and Peyton Manning, and you do not mess with that.
Even putting Hillman on the field to change things up doesn’t make much sense when you consider it takes carries away from Anderson.
When he touches the ball, great things happen.
It started on that play right before halftime against the Oakland Raiders when he should have been tackled for a loss but somehow scored a touchdown.
Since then, he’s been the best player on the Denver offense.
In two consecutive games, Anderson has eclipsed 160 yards rushing. Against the Miami Dolphins, he had 167. Most recently against the Kansas City Chiefs, he had 168.
Nov 30, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) hands off to running back C.J. Anderson (22) against the Kansas City Chiefs in the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, among the 29 NFL players with at least 10,000 rushing yards, 16 never recorded back-to-back games with 160 or more. Those who did not include three players in the league’s all-time top 10 in rushing: Curtis Martin (4), Jerome Bettis (6), and Tony Dorsett (8).
Anderson is the first running back in the NFL to rush for 160 yards in consecutive games since Bryce Brown did so with the Philadelphia Eagles two seasons ago.
Anderson is the first Denver running back to pull the feat since Ruben Droughns in 2004. Droughns rushed for 193 and 176 yards in two straight weeks.
Regardless of how people view Ball or any of the other backs, Anderson is the man.
He’s proven it.
He’s earned it.
It’s helped to have an offensive line that appears to have ironed out its kinks from earlier in the season. The six guys added with tight end Virgil Green have shown they’re not entirely hopeless.
And as the running game continues to have success, that breeds more success.
With four games left in the season, this couldn’t be happening at a better time. Paired with the defense, this team seems dangerous.
Broncos Country is quick to make comparisons – as are most sports fans. Some say Anderson runs and plays like Terrell Davis.
The best comparison is Mike Anderson, and not just because they both have the same last name.
They have a similar build, running style and demeanor.
But that’s unfair to C.J. He’s his own back with his own style.
Let’s not forget he’s an undrafted college free agent who missed all of last season because of an injury.
The win over the Chiefs was the most impressive and complete win of the season for the Broncos. Denver thoroughly whooped Kansas City.
In the process, the debate is finally over.
Anderson is the Broncos running back.
And he’s just getting warmed up.
Nov 30, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Denver Broncos running back C.J. Anderson (22) runs the ball as Kansas City Chiefs inside linebacker Josh Mauga (90) defends during the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports