Aug 6, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos running backs Jeremy Stewart (27), Juwan Thompson (40), and Kapri Bibbs (35) at training camp at the UCHealth Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Broncos Country has to be elated with the gritty and persistent attitude that has suddenly emerged within the team to start the 2015 season. Despite having the highest winning percentage of any team the last three seasons and torching the offensive record books in the process, the Broncos have ended all of those campaigns on disappointing, if not disgustingly, bad performances.
For a team that enjoyed so much regular season success, it was baffling to see them fold in the postseason. Was it the coaches that caused the lack of focus in crunch time? Was it the players that gave in under the pressure? Did anybody care to compete when it mattered?
Regardless of who was to blame, the Broncos were swift to make changes along the coaching staff and roster. For all intensive purposes, “Kicking and screaming” may have been the most overused phrase for the Broncos this 0ff-season. Every move and transaction made by this team all went towards having a team that wouldn’t go down quietly.
The days of the video game offense and “bend but don’t break” defense are long gone. In exchange for those mentalities, the Broncos have received a dose of balance and attacking mentalities, thanks to the new coaching staff. The payoff was immediate, as we saw firsthand at how this team can battle to win games. The stats aren’t pretty, but the wins are.
Despite the 2-0 record and an early lead in the AFC West, there are plenty of areas that this team needs to improve on. I’ve chosen three aspects of the team that need improvement and need it ASAP.
Energize the Running Game
Although the offense is in a state of transition, nobody could have expected the lack of production to come from the Broncos running game through two games. CJ Anderson and Ronnie Hillman lead a group that is currently ranked 29th in the league with a whopping 65 yards a game.
For team that has a rich history of great running games, the current trend is unacceptable. With the offense still being formulated, I expect Kubiak and the offensive staff to find creative ways to get the running game going without Manning getting out of his rhythm. The pistol and shotgun formations may be a convenient way to hand off the ball without take every snap from under center which is something Manning is not fond of doing on a regular basis.
Next: Finding unity on the offensive line