C.J. Anderson and Devontae Booker heard enough.
The Denver Broncos offensive line was out to send a message - to not only the rest of the NFL but its coaches. As the game wore on, Gary Kubiak got that loud and clear.
If the Broncos run the football as they did on Monday Night Football against the Houston Texans, they will not be beat this season. As I have said since the start of organized team activities, the key for Denver’s offense is the running game. It takes the pressure off of the quarterback and opens up the offense.
That’s what we saw on all three touchdown drives in the 27-9 win. This victory allows the Broncos (5-2) to keep pace with the Oakland Raiders (5-2) in the AFC West. Denver was able to run the football at will, forced Houston (4-3) to bring defenders into the box, opening the passing game for Trevor Siemian. Through the first seven weeks of the season, this is the best Denver’s offense has looked.
The Broncos finished with 35 carries for 190 yards. That was good for 5.4 yards per carry. Anderson led the way with 107 yards on 16 carries and a touchdown while Booker finished with 17 carries for 83 yards and a touchdown. The two Denver backs complimented each other very well. Now build off of it.
#Broncos offense finally starts to gain some rhythm. It's no coincidence Janovich was on the field.— Ian St. Clair (@IanStClair) October 25, 2016
Of course it’s no coincidence the offense started to tick when Andy Janovich got more time on the field.
In all seriousness, how the Broncos looked running the ball is a sight for sore eyes. The first quarter was a struggle and it looked as if we were in a redo of the loss to the San Diego Chargers. But credit to Kubiak and his offensive coaches for not abandoning the rush. Major kudos for showing faith in that aspect of the offense and the players responded.
Both Anderson and Booker ran with attitude against Houston. As I said, the two backs complimented each other very well. They were able to run between the tackles but also kick it out. The best sign of all was the power attack on the one-yard line when Booker got his first career touchdown.
And what can you say about Denver’s offensive line? To say this unit was much maligned coming into this game is a severe understatement. As was the case with the offense, the first quarter inspired some “here we go again” from those watching. But just like the offense, the Broncos offensive line stuck with it. Those five guys didn’t get discouraged by that sluggish start and wanted to prove a point.
That drive highlights what the #Broncos can do when the run game starts clicking. The whole offense opens up. Two fantastic drives.— Ian St. Clair (@IanStClair) October 25, 2016
The key now for Denver’s offense is to build off of this performance on the ground. Hit this week of practice with the mentality it will get even better on Sunday against the Chargers. With Denver’s defense, a balanced offense will make it near impossible to beat the defending Super Bowl champions. When you add the strong play of the special teams from Monday night, the Broncos have their recipe for success.
Denver’s offense was out to send a message to the rest of the NFL that it could run the football. The message also was delivered loud and clear to its coaches.
The Broncos had heard enough.