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After tough loss, there is still cause for optimism in Broncos Country

The Denver Broncos offense is still discovering its identity, but I think they’ve found it - when the coaching staff will accept it is another question entirely.

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos came up short in their comeback attempt late in the fourth quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday Night Football, but we should still be encouraged by the steps this team has made to improve over their 5-11 season in 2017.

Despite the errant Case Keenum pass that sealed their fate, the Broncos have found their offensive identity. They currently rank second in the NFL averaging 5.6 yards per carry on the ground, which means they have a way to eat up yards and move the football.

The problem is, they need more of it. In both of the Broncos losses, they threw the ball over ten times more than they ran it. Against the Chiefs, they had 159 yards on the ground on just 22 carries. Twenty-two!

Head Coach Vance Joseph is committed to the pass, however, and he needs a reality check.

“Both young backs, they ran downhill,” Joseph said after the game. “They had 70+yards apiece. They ran downhill, but you score points by throwing the football. We ran the ball to control the game. You throw the ball to score. That’s never going to stop.”

The Broncos playmakers are running backs, not quarterbacks. In my opinion, they need to stop pretending they have a franchise quarterback and start calling games like the 2017 Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings ran the ball a whopping 501 times in 2017, which was good for second-most in the NFL, while Keenum ranked 21st in passing attempts.

There’s your blueprint, Bill Musgrave.

The Broncos have a chance to win some games down the stretch, but they need to take full advantage of the talented backfield John Elway has gifted them in 2018.