Rushing to win

For some time now I have been harping on the notion that in order to quickly improve the team the Broncos need to focus on the run game.

First let's look at some basic statistics paired with team records to show that nothing improves a team like running the football.                                                     

The Denver Broncos rushing totals during the Mike Shanahan era. 

Year - Total Td's - Team high                                                                                          

2008 - 15 Hillis 5  

2007 - 10  Henry 4
2006 - 12  Mike Bell 8
2005 - 25  M. Anderson 12
2004 - 13  Droughns 6 
2003 - 20  Portis 14
2002 - 21  Portis 15
2001 - 7   Anderson 4
2000 - 21  Anderson 15
1999 - 13  Gary 7
1998 - 26  Davis 21
1997 - 18  Davis 15
1996 - 20  Davis 13
1995 - 14  Davis 7

Year Record Playoff result
2008 8-8        None
2007 7-9        None
2006 9-7        None
2005 13-3       L, AFC Championship
2004 10-6       L, First round
2003 10-6       L, First round
2002 9-7        None
2001 8-8        None
2000 11-5       L, First round
1999 6-10       None
1998 14-2       W, Super Bowl
1997 12-4       W, Super Bowl
1996 13-3       L, Divisional
1995 8-8        None


Shanahans top 5 seasons in Denver (Record - Year - Rushing TD's)
14-2    1998 - 26 td's
13-3   96',05' - 20,25
12-4    1997 - 18
11-5    2000 - 21

The worst 5

6-10    1999 - 13 td's
7-9     2007 - 10
8-8     95',01',08' - 14,7,15

Team improvement - The Carolina Panthers were 7-9 in 2007 and had only 7 rushing touchdowns. In 2008 they went 13-3 and had a whopping 30 rushing td's.

Team decline - The 2006,14 -2 San Diego Chargers rushed for 32 touchdowns during LT's record setting year. In 07' they went 11-5 and finished with 19 rushing td's.  This years 8-8 version had only 13 total rushing td's. They are currently deemed as one of the hottest teams in the NFL over the last couple weeks. Well, against the Broncos in Week 17 they had 5 rushing touchdowns. Then against the Colts, they had 3 with the game winner coming in overtime. That is 8 rushing touchdowns in 2 games, while they had only 8 through 15 games.  Running the ball is sacrosanct in the NFL.

The outlook is that Peyton Hillis will be a major part of the offense in 2009, no doubt. His greatest value will be near the goal line and in short yardage while lining up at H back in passing downs to utilize his great hands out of the backfield. I think there is a need to add a young running back who adds a game changing dimension to the offense and can be depended on to carry the load. A prime 1A back.

What we have currently on our roster aside from Hillis can not be depended on as they have not proved they can be  a. consistant b. productive.

Stats Overview Rushing Receiving Fumbles
2007 248 1336 5.4 80 14 20 253 12.7 35 0 0 0
2008 250 1400 5.6 68 16 33 392 11.9 37 2 0 0

This running back has carried it consistantly for 2 years, long enough to prove talent but short enough to avoid injury. What's more, he has never fumbled once. He averages 5.5 yards per for his college career and has exceptional hands out of the backfield.

He will require a first round pick but Knowshon Moreno could be the future of the Broncos running game and paired with Hillis would form one dynamic tandem of pass catchers and ball carriers.

Knowshon Moreno

The recent poll I did shows that only 6 votes out 110 want to pick offense if given only one choice. The reason I only asked to choose one is I really wanted to see what you valued most, above all else. It was defense loud and clear.

So if you are absolutely sold that the Broncos defense is disgustingly soft, which is a very valid argument, and  you certainly don't want to "waste" a pick on any offensive player, just don't forget. I mean perhaps you miss Wilson and want Maulauga to take his place, or perhaps you miss Atwater and want Mays to take his place. But who is going to take TD's place?  It's understandable to want a defense, I just really hope that Pat Bowlen and the new staff in Denver remember what aspect of football filled up his trophy case.

From the franchise saving Floyd Little to Terrell Davis' abilities that started the Broncos fantastic Championship run, the Broncos have always been a rushing team and I hope we don't forget that.

This is a Fan-Created Comment on The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff of MHR

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