That is the stat line from both Knowshon Moreno and Ronnie Hillman on Sunday. To be fair, they both had to run behind a severely depleted OL, and we had to abandon the run due to a big deficit on the scoreboard. It is what it is. You're likely to see a drop off in production when your line is shuffled to feature three backups and one guy playing in an unnatural position.
What we can't have anymore are the fumbles.
Again this team is cursed by fumbling. Never going to win a SB with this.— Scott Kacsmar (@FO_ScottKacsmar) October 21, 2013
Give Scott a follow, he does fantastic work. What was he talking about? With Hillman's 2nd fumble of the season, any chance the Broncos had at coming back to win the game went away. In one instant, all the momentum that had been building was extinguished. Knowshon has one, Montee Ball has two. That is 5 in 178 carries combined.
It's not just the fumbling however. Neither Montee Ball nor Ronnie Hillman have done enough to keep CJ down on the depth chart. Hillman shows the most promise, but fumbling and protection big issues for him. Montee hasn't shown any consistency and looks pretty lost out there at times.
I think it is time for the Broncos to shuffle the deck at running back to give CJ Anderson a shot at the #2 spot.
In college Anderson averaged 5.7 yards per carry on 198 career attempts. He is a little raw but we all saw what kind of determined runner he was in the preseason. I can't find a single stat that indicates he has a fumbling history.
Broncos coaches see these players everyday. As fans I think that gets lost in everything. But it isn't a stretch to believe that CJ who is 4th on the depth chart at the moment hasn't seen a lot of reps or received a lot of opportunity.
A move to give him a shot isn't a white flag on Ball or Hillman. They simply aren't ready and this isn't the time to get them experience. We need folks that can play and they have not answered the bell with their opportunities. My gut tells me that Montee Ball will get some extended looks this week, doesn't necessarily mean that it is the best thing to do right now.
Way back, CJ Anderson had this to say:
The day I get a carry ima take this over— C.J. Anderson (@CjAndersonRB9) September 27, 2013
Knowshon's backup has received about 20 snaps the past couple of games. There is not much risk involved especially against a weaker NFC opponent at home. CJ deserves a chance. Whether the Broncos give it to him or what he does with it if they do is an entirely different conversation.
For now, all I know is much like a Trindon Holliday punt return, I cringe everytime Montee or Hillman touch the ball. The Broncos have now lost 12 fumbles on the season, a league high. Until we fix this issue, a huge questionmark remains.