4 biggest questions facing Denver Broncos entering Week 16 game against Patriots

The Denver Broncos (7-7) will host the New England Patriots (3-11) in a must-win game for the team. Here are the biggest questions the Broncos will face in this one.

Russell Wilson and Sean Payton had a heated sideline moment in Week 15.
Russell Wilson and Sean Payton had a heated sideline moment in Week 15. / Michael Owens/GettyImages
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Javonte Williams, Denver Broncos
Dec 16, 2023; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Denver Broncos running back Javonte Williams (33) is tackled / Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

Can the running game get back on track?

In addition to getting turnovers on defense, the Broncos were really starting to get a strong running game going. It looked like that could carry into the playoffs. But in recent weeks, the rushing attack has been poor, causing some outlets to question how much Javonte Williams is worth to this team.

Javonte Williams has valiantly battled back from a rough knee injury last year but he just isn't the same player. At least not right now. He is averaging just 3.7 yards per carry and only has one rushing touchdown on the season. Against the Lions, he carried the ball 12 times for 27 yards.

But it may not be in the team's best interest to have him take a back seat.

Samaje Perine has been effective in spots this season but his biggest contributions have come in the passing game. I do agree with Cecil Lammey that Jaleel McLaughlin needs to get more of a look and I have argued that for most of the entire season.

The Broncos need to commit to running the ball against the Patriots — the NFL's second-best run defense, early in this game. Though the Pats will be tough to run the ball against, it could be a major confidence booster for the team to get the ground game going and have that carry into the postseason.

If the Broncos make the playoffs, they are going to have to be able to run the ball in those games. They are not a team that is going to sling it around the yard and will likely be on the wrong side of a blowout in games where they are having to do that.

This team is built to be a tough running team that plays solid defense and that's where it needs to find success.