How many times during the eight-game losing streak did you - the fan - get frustrated with the play calling from the Denver Broncos? Mike McCoy’s insistence on letting Trevor Siemian sling the ball and abandoning the run early was maddening.
Vance Joseph continues to insist that didn’t happen until the Broncos were down two scores, but often it would happen late in the first quarter and early in the second when it was still just a one-score game. And it was the abandonment of the run that quickly led to the score gap widening quickly.
Here’s a fact. All five of the Broncos wins in 2017 were also the only five games where they ran the ball more than they passed. What a concept!
“Well I'll say this about that, when you're in even games, you can stay with the running game,” Joseph said of sticking with the run. “When you're down by two or three scores, it's tough to stay in the running game. Even when you're down by a field goal, even a touchdown, you can stay with it because you won't score out. You're down by three scores, you can't. It's simply being in one-score games.”
False. The team was prone to abandoning the run immediately after losing a lead no matter what quarter the game was in. Bill Musgrave, down 10-0 on the road, stayed true to the run and once Brock Osweiler entered the game the Broncos went on a 25-3 run to finish out the game.
A lot of that had to do with the running of C.J. Anderson who finished with a season-high 30 carries for 158 yards. With two games to go and sitting at 858 yards on the season, Anderson might just get his first 1,000 yard season.
“Absolutely,” Joseph said of getting the ball to Anderson more consistently. “If we are in the right kind of game and we can get him his touches, he can help us pound people. He had 30 I think for 153, 5.2 average. It was fun to see him get going. He is a volume back. He needs multiple carries to get going and you can see what he can do. He can run through tackles if he gets volume.”
The recipe for success is as clear as day for the Broncos. They can win out by running the ball and playing good defense. With Brock Osweiler, they should be able to stay competitive offensively. 7-9 sounds really good at this point.