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Broncos’ future success hinges on running game, defense

The adage is as old as the NFL: run the ball and play great defense. Perhaps it’s tired and boring, but it’s especially true for Denver, as Adam Malnati and Ian St. Clair discuss on MHR Radio.

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Houston Texans v Denver Broncos Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Good morning, Broncos Country!

The formula is simple: run the ball and play great defense.

If the Denver Broncos do those two things at a consistent clip, they will win and win a lot. If those two aspects continue to click, it won’t matter where the game is played - in the regular season or playoffs. The rest of Denver’s game builds off those two areas.

If one or both of those ingredients don’t show up, the Broncos are in big trouble, just as Adam Malnati and I talked about in the Mile High Report Radio podcast.

No pressure, Devontae Booker.

That’s not to say the success of Denver’s rushing offense is on the shoulders of the rookie back, but he’s carrying a big load (pun intended). The last two games have shown he’s more than capable. A little over two weeks ago, Booker was one of the lone bright spots on offense. Against the Houston Texans, he helped spark the offense at the end of the first and start of the second quarter.

A lot of that comes from the way Booker runs the ball. He’s incredibly physical, initiates contact and continues to push forward. You can tell his confidence grows with each carry. Booker has to get even better now with C.J. Anderson more than likely done for the season with a meniscus injury to his right knee.

The other piece to the running game’s success, aside from the offensive line, is fullback Andy Janovich. It was no coincidence the offense started to click with him on the field. By now the coaches should know Janovich has to be on the field.

For Denver to come out with a win today against the San Diego Chargers, it must run the football and make sure it’s not run against it. But it’s not just today, it’s the rest of the season. Over the next two months, the Broncos play two games at home. To remain in the hunt for one of the top two seeds, being able to run the ball and play stifling defense will make that happen.

Come the playoffs, that’s how Denver will win - whether it’s home or on the road in, gasp, Foxborough.

The adage is as old as the NFL: run the ball and play great defense. Perhaps it’s tired and boring, but it’s especially true for the Broncos.

We will get a good indication of how that plays out today.

Broncos Tracks

Denver Broncos defense has gone to Plan B often this season - AFC West- ESPN
Teams have had early success in games against the Broncos defense, but they've adjusted accordingly in their 5-2 start.

Five Broncos things you should know: C.J. Anderson to miss "significant time," penalties and more
How much are penalties up league-wide? What decisions loom for the Broncos this weekend? Find out here.

Through My Eyes: Devontae Booker anticipates first NFL start
The rookie running back writes about his huge opportunity Sunday filling in for starting running back C.J. Anderson as he recovers from a knee injury.

Book it, Denver Broncos need rookie running back to power offense - Denver Broncos Blog- ESPN
The Broncos are looking to rookie Devontae Booker to continue their recent success in the running game.

Chargers vs. Broncos 2016 picks and predictions: Denver favored in AFC West rematch -
Philip Rivers may have a tough time getting anything going against the stout Broncos D.

Q&A with wide receiver Jordan Norwood
Get to know the Broncos wide receiver and photography enthusiast Jordan Norwood.

Bradley Roby named Week 7 NFLPA Community MVP
The Broncos cornerback was honored for his outreach efforts in social programs.

Bronco notes: Nelson to get first career start if Marshall can't play |
Barring an overnight cure of his strained hamstring, Brandon Marshall is expected to be replaced by Corey Nelson as a Denver Broncos' starting inside linebacker for their game Sunday against the San Diego Chargers.

Woody Paige: Here's who the Broncos should trade for by Tuesday - 7NEWS Denver
Hint: It's not Tony Romo.

AFC West Tracks

Bad news for Chiefs: Lingering knee issues will sideline Jamaal Charles vs. Indianapolis Colts | The Kansas City Star
Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles will miss Sunday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts. He is still recovering from surgery to repair last year’s season-ending injury.

Kansas City Chiefs still haunted by playoff loss to Colts - AFC West- ESPN
This weekend's meeting with the Colts brings back bad memories for the members of the Chiefs who suffered a brutal defeat to Indy in the 2013 playoffs.

Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Phillip Gaines expected to return for Sunday's game against the Colts | The Kansas City Star
Kansas city Chiefs cornerback Phillip Gaines has missed two of the last three games with a knee injury but he’s expected to return for Sunday’s game at Indianapolis. The return is timely with the Chiefs losing rookie cornerback D.J. White with a broken hand suffered in last week’s game.

On paper, Spencer Ware looks to be in line for monster day vs. Colts - Arrowhead Pride
He’s in line for a big day.

Oakland coach Jack Del Rio: Make your way to Tampa, Raider Nation! - NFC South- ESPN
The Bucs are trying to keep a home-field advantage on Sunday, but it's likely that a big group of Raiders fans are still on their way.

Raiders: Potential returns of Aldon Smith, Mario Edwards Jr. could give defense needed boost
The return of both players would immediately improve the Oakland pass rush.

Oakland Raiders' Amari Cooper learned football on this Miami blacktop
Cooper has emerged as a big weapon for the Raiders offense and will only get better.

NFL analysts think Raiders should go all in for defensive tackle at trade deadline - Silver And Black Pride
With the trade deadline looming, the analysts wheels are turning on the move they think would put the Raiders over the top.

Sure, trade could provide Chargers with needed wide receiver - The San Diego Union-Tribune
Chargers need a wideout to better chances of making playoffs

San Diego Chargers keeping Joey Bosa fresh by limiting snap count - San Diego Chargers Blog- ESPN
Joey Bosa has had two two-sack games since returning from injury, but media coverage shows split opinions on Bosa's effectiveness.

Where do Chargers go if voters reject stadium bid?
Los Angeles still an option and likely more lucrative but, owner Dean Spanos hopes to stay.

Is it possible Mike McCoy can coach? - Bolts From The Blue
Well, anything is possible, right?

NFL Tracks

Biggest Week 8 NFL questions, stats and predictions - NFL Nation- ESPN
Will Brock Osweiler snap out of it? Can Dak Prescott keep rolling? Could the Browns actually win? Week 8 holds all the answers.

Bold predictions: Rex, Bills sweep Brady's Pats -
Week 8 of the NFL season is upon us, and that means it's time for another round of bold predictions. As always, this week's edition includes a macho helping of audaciousness.

The 10 best things about Sunday’s Week 8 NFL games | FOX Sports (Production)
The 10 best things about Sunday’s Week 8 NFL games.

Jaguars fire offensive coordinator Greg Olson -
Much-needed change is underway in Duval. The Jaguars have fired offensive coordinator Greg Olson and promoted quarterbacks coach Nathaniel Hackett to assume the role.

NFL analyst: Eagles need to injure Cowboys ‘arrogant’ rookie | New York Post
Brian Baldinger is sick of Ezekiel Elliott's smiling face and churning legs.

Players annoyed with NFL's crackdown on celebrations
Hey NFL players: If you want a safe way to celebrate touchdowns and big plays, just hug it out.

N.F.L. Schedule: Here’s Who We Think Will Win in Week 8 - The New York Times
The Patriots look to avenge their only loss, to Buffalo, and two exciting rookie quarterbacks clash in a game with N.F.C. East implications. Here’s what to expect.

Belichick: A lot of teams around the league are 'kind of reluctant to trade' |
It's not easy to pull off trades in the NFL around the deadline. Just look at how many are completed in the final days leading up to the deadline every year.

Will the NFL's ratings drop throw media companies for a loss? - CBS News
The reasons for pro football's sudden drop in viewership are up for debate, but the effect could soon be all too clear.

Brock Osweiler's fairytale has turned into a nightmare -
Brock Osweiler seemed to have it all: luxurious hair, enviable scruff, a rocket right arm and one of those annoyingly symmetrical faces. But in Houston? He has a problem. Dan Hanzus feels for the QB.

Finally! NFL cracks down on fake photography celebrations with hefty fines | Politi |
What's next? Fake filmmaking?!

Alzheimer's disease won’t prevent Marty Schottenheimer from attending 30th reunion of Browns 1986 season - ESPN Cleveland Blog- ESPN
The most successful Browns coach in 30 years enjoys life, even if it changes for the worse.

N.F.L. Offenses Are Changing, So Some Offensive Linemen Are Shrinking - The New York Times
Undersize linemen, akin to baby grand pianos, appear to be a growing demographic thanks in part to changing styles that require quicker players.

NFL trade rumors: Joe Thomas, Joe Staley, Alshon Jeffery |
NFL trade rumors are piling up as the league approaches the Tuesday trade deadline.

Bell: Prescott-Wentz could be NFL's next great QB rivalry
Funny how the stars have aligned for this.