The Denver Broncos finally have gotten a win in the 2023 season, putting to rest any notion that the team could go 0-17 and, at least for the moment, halting any talk of having the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.
But it didn't come easily. The Broncos were still down by 21 points at one time against the lowly Chicago Bears so while the Broncos did get the victory, and winning generally cures all, this is not suddenly a great football team.
There are still major deficiencies, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. But now that the Broncos have a 1 in the win column, the bleeding has stopped, at least temporarily.
The team now has a big matchup with the New York Jets in Week 5 that has to be looked at as pretty much a must-win game for both teams. Heading into that game, the Broncos should make some moves based on what we saw on Sunday against Chicago.
These are not difficult decisions. These are obvious moves that should take place in Week 5 and continue into the remainder of this season.
Jaleel McLaughlin should be the Broncos' primary runner
It may sound extreme to insert a rookie who went undrafted into the lineup as the primary running back but the film doesn't lie. And what that film is going to show is that Jaleel Mclaughlin is far and away the most explosive running back currently on the Denver roster.
It does appear that Javonte Williams avoided a major injury after having to leave Sunday's game against the Bears with a hip issue, and he likely won't miss much or any time for the team. But even when he is in there, he doesn't give the team what McLaughlin is.
Williams is coming off of a torn ACL and is still likely not close to 100 percent, so he needs to be given more time to get there. This isn't to say that he isn't still the best running back on the team, but as of this moment, McLaughlin is going to give the team the most on the field.
McLaughlin was the catalyst in the Broncos' comeback win against the Bears and they don't win that game without what he contributed on the field. The Broncos need to respond by giving him the bulk of the work starting this Sunday against the Jets.