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Broncos got away from the run and it cost them

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The Denver Broncos gave up on a run game averaging nearly 5 yards per carry and the Buffalo Bills feasted on that decision.

NFL: Denver Broncos at Buffalo Bills Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

In the first two games of the season, the Denver Broncos ran the ball more than they passed the ball: 36-28 and 39-32. It’s no coincidence they won both games. Against the Buffalo Bills, they got away from the run despite averaging 4.8 yards per carry.

Neither Jamaal Charles, nor C.J. Anderson had more than 10 carries. Meanwhile Trevor Siemian chucked the ball 40-times. Putting the game into the hands of a young quarterback is a risky proposition under any circumstance and this time it bit the Broncos in the rear end.

Broncos head coach Vance Joseph felt the running wasn’t the factor in the loss. It was the teams inability to pick up third downs and scoring opportunities.

“We ran the ball fine in my opinion,” Joseph said. “Again, 3rd downs, red-zone and two turnovers kind of killed our ride.”

I’d argue that it was the constant passing plays being called that hurt this team on both third down and in the red zone. The incompletions on first down setup a four yard run that setup a third and difficult for Siemian and the passing game. If they had run on first down more, this game and the score might have turned out differently.

The identity of this offense flows through the legs of Anderson and Charles, not the arm of Siemian. I feel confident in predicting the Broncos will lose every game they throw the ball 10 more times than run it.


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