The disrespect for Broncos RB Javonte Williams is utterly ridiculous

Why is Denver Broncos RB Javonte receiving harsh criticism following Saturday's loss?

Denver Broncos v Los Angeles Chargers
Denver Broncos v Los Angeles Chargers / Harry How/GettyImages

Following a rough loss Saturday in Detroit, critics have began pointing fingers at certain Denver Broncos players who perhaps "deserve the blame" for a poor offensive or defensive showing. Players like cornerback Fabian Moreau and Josey Jewell rightfully deserve the constructive criticism however, others like Russell Wilson and Javonte Williams simply do not.

Third-year Broncos running back Javonte Williams rushed 12 times for just 27 yards and 2.2 yards per attempt in the loss as opposed to fellow running back Samaje Perine's six attempts for 37 yards and 6.2 yards per attempt. Some fans have already begun to label Williams as "washed" following his performance in reference to his knee injury in 2022 affecting his play more than initially anticipated. However, these claims are entirely foolish.

Heading into the Week 15 matchup with the Detroit Lions, Javonte Williams had been executing a perfectly fine job in the role that was asked of him. Williams' 39 first down conversions in 2023 currently leads all Broncos playmakers and is a big piece of why the team is even standing with a 7-7 record and remaining in the playoff race. The Denver Broncos are also still 10-3 since 2021 when Williams receives 15 rushing attempts or more in games.

Head coach Sean Payton and quarterback Russell Wilson have heavily leaned on the North Carolina product to give the offense life at times of need. While Williams has not shown the burst of speed or acceleration outside of the numbers that many had hoped to see, that style of play does not necessarily fit the 23-year-old back. Williams has earned the difficult yards after contact and has abused opposing defenses throughout the season when given the opportunity to do so. As a result, the Broncos have been able to control the time of possession in virtually every win this season.

However, in Week 15, the Denver Broncos offensive line did not do their running back any favors. Detroit's front seven simply dominated Denver's starting five and was often in the backfield before Williams could even pass the line of scrimmage. For whatever reason, the offensive line had a much better night creating run lanes for running back Samaje Perine but could not create any sizable gaps for Williams. So please explain to me, how does this translate to "Javonte is washed"?

Williams still has aspects of his game to improve on such as ballcarrier vision and short area quickness however, so does every 23-year-old running back. The Broncos have an excellent young running back in Jaleel McLaughlin who sees the field very well in open space and is one of the fastest players at this position in the entire NFL. Why not utilize both players to their strengths?

All in all, Williams' statistically poor night should not fall back on him whatsoever due to the offensive line having their worst run-blocking game of the season. Without Javonte Williams, the Broncos' rushing attack would be much worse and as a result, the play-action would be much more predictable making Russell Wilson's job that much more difficult. If anything, what we should be taking away from this game is that Williams is arguably the most valuable playmaker on the offensive side of the ball. Look what happened to Denver's offense when he was not able to make an immediate and direct impact.

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