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The key to the Broncos running game clicking is the offensive line

The Denver Broncos outside zone running game isn’t a new thing in the NFL. If it is going to work, their offensive line is going to need to execute precisely and consistently.

DENVER BRONCOS VS LAS VEGAS RAIDERS, NFL Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

It is easy to get excited about this Denver Broncos offense with a shiny new quarterback in Russell Wilson taking the snaps. We also are all very excited to see some continuity in our running game with Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon III looking to improve on their 900+ yard season from 2022.

But for the run game to make a real impact, the offensive line has to really be dialed in. The zone running system is something many of us here in Broncos Country (especially those of us that geek out all the things our team does and is known for) are quite familiar with.

Some rules have changed over the years (especially regarding chop blocks or any type of block below the waist in the tight end box) that make it more difficult for the zone run system to really blow your hair back like the Broncos teams from the late 90’s did.

Teams need athletic linemen with the ability to move laterally as well which is a big difference from the gap systems we’ve been running in recent years.

As we transition to Nathaniel Hacket’s modernized outside zone system, there is going to be a lot of attention put on the linemen (and rightly so) to find out who fits and who doesn’t.

If the linemen gel and execute, we can see some very big running stats in 2022. I’d even argue that two 1,000-yard runners are plausible given how dangerous Russell Wilson’s passing is which should open up the box to allow this system to really do work on the ground.

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