Denver Broncos: Stick with Phillip Lindsay, Royce Freeman and the run
The Denver Broncos most successful offense is pounding the football with their rookie running backs Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman.
If it ain’t broke, then don’t fix it. When the Denver Broncos are a successful team they run the football exclusively with Royce Freeman and Phillip Lindsay.
Both rookies are showing no signs of slowing down, either. The Broncos must capitalize on this opportunity they have in front of them.
Coming up on a short week against the Arizona Cardinals, the pressure will continue to mount on the coaching staff. One of the ways to make the whole offense comfortable is committing to running the football more than passing.
The last two weeks the Broncos have rushed the football 17 times consecutively. However, the team did utilize play action more against the Los Angeles Rams. If the team made the effort to run more, the play action would obviously be more effective.
The two rookie running backs for the Broncos are quite a dynamic duo for the franchise that will set them up well for the future. Yet, it is up to the coaches to still follow through with an effective and hopefully somewhat unpredictable game-plan.
Whether it is a miscommunication by the coaches or Case Keenum’s calling audibles to pass plays, the dedication has to be there. Offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave said it’s time to take the training wheels off Freeman and Lindsay. We are not seeing that. In fact, it’s been almost non-existent. The limited carries and massive amounts of pass attempts suggests the team wants to air it out and be something they are not in the process.
Keenum is one of the most effective play-action quarterbacks in the NFL. If the Broncos were determined to get the running game going, Keenum would be more effective. It is proven.
The best way to make this work is more carries between Freeman and Lindsay. Freeman is a future three-down back that played exceptionally against the Chiefs. Denver should reward him with 15-20 carries a game. He is proving to be ready for the challenge.
On one hand, Lindsay is a true scat back, but the willingness to run in-between the tackles suggests he needs more carries also. The Broncos have not even scratched the surface of what Lindsay can be as a receiver.
Despite his lack of size, the team should also reward the local running back with 10-15 carries a game. Also, the Broncos should attempt to throw to Lindsay six to seven times. The more touches, the merrier.
The Broncos found the blueprint to success against the Chiefs. However, it seems the team has deviated from that script. No matter the result of this season, commitment to a running game is a proven over and over again to be a requirement for teams who are successful late in the season.
A great defense and ground game will take a team far. Once the team achieves this, everything else falls into place. The play action will be better, time of possession grows, and offensive line confidence skyrockets.
If the Broncos perform to the strengths of their players, then they will be successful long-term.