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CJ Anderson provides Broncos offense with "Beastmode" option

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Up, down, up, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, select, START! "BEASTMODE ENABLED"

Harry How/Getty Images

I faintly remember that being a code to tap into some groovy weapons on a game created for 8-bit nintendo. The game involved a spacecraft that had to navigate between a top and bottom earth core while blasting whatever foes happened to come it's way, if you remember the name, drop it to me in the comments.

The Broncos have their version of that code in CJ Anderson. How do you activate it? Hand him the ball. Let's get something out of the way here. Denver's front 5 was atrocious in the run blocking game last season. Only departed LG Orlando Franklin and TE Virgil Green managed to put up positive grades in the run blocking department according to ProFootballFocus. As a team, the Broncos graded out at -13.3. When CJ was given the opportunity to run the ball, often times he had to make lemonade out of lemons.

So how does a back manufacture a 4.7 yard per carry average behind a porous line? He breaks tackles. Take a look at this chart made available by football outsiders:

- On 21.6% of his touches, Anderson broke a tackle. that's about one in every five times he touched the ball and within striking distance of league leader Marshawn Lynch.

- The top three backs in terms of touches were Marshawn Lynch-317, Eddie Lacy-288, and CJ Anderson-213.

It's not always about breaking through a tackle. Sometimes a back has to be able to make people miss. It's called "elusiveness" and is were are thinking in terms of all-time greats, Barry Sanders immediately comes to mind and there is an advanced stat for it as well.

Pro Football Focus defines "elusive rating" as "a runner's success beyond the point of being helped by his blockers."

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- CJ made a defender miss on 24.6% of his rushes and 44.1% of his receptions.

Despite only seeing regular action from the 2nd half of the season onward, Anderson was a top 5 runner in breaking tackles and making people miss. Call it the "Effort of the Year" but we can see exactly why from this single play:

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2015 Could spell "All-Pro" for CJ

With an offseason of Zone-Blocking emphasis and the need to have more balance for Peyton Manning on offense, CJ Anderson is going to have the opportunity to touch the ball 25-35 times a game. Looking at the last 8 games of the season, how did CJ fare against the top 5 running backs in the NFL?

Player

Att

Yds

Avg

Rec

Yds

Avg

Total TD

Anderson

162

767

4.7

30

290

9.7

10

Murray

187

791

4.2

31

177

5.7

6

Bell

165

742

4.5

41

435

10.6

9

McCoy

153

697

4.5

8

61

7.6

4

Lynch

159

713

4.5

18

186

10.3

8

Forsett

144

720

5.0

15

115

7.7

6

3rd in touches, 2nd in yards, 2nd in average per touch, 1st in total touchdowns. And were talking about someone who was a consistent receiving threat out of the backfield.

You're going to get the effort from CJ whether or not the hole is there. If the Broncos offensive line can help him out a bit, you're going to see these explosive numbers translate into big chunks of yardage and touchdowns. Beastmode is activated, just give him the damn ball!