Denver Broncos: 5 players who must be better in week three
4. Royce Freeman, RB
I am going to be nit-picky about Freeman for a moment.
The Broncos’ number one back on the depth chart was on the field for 16 plays against the Raiders. That was good for 15th on the team, well behind Devontae Booker at 22 plays and Phillip Lindsay at 28 plays.
The Broncos perhaps are making a mistake by giving Devontae Booker more plays than Freeman in the first place, but the rookie out of Oregon has to find a way to make himself irreplaceable. The Broncos obviously want to get different guys on the field and try to find a hot hand (which Phillip Lindsay has been through two games) but Freeman showed so well in the preseason that it’s hard to believe he would only get eight carries in this game.
Freeman did have three first down runs and a touchdown among his eight carries, so he was effective when on the field (also had a nice 14-yard run and 17/28 yards after contact), but for a back who took over the top running back spot on the depth chart, eight carries are simply not enough.
I don’t know if this is as much about Freeman needing to be better as it is about him needing to be used more.