Despite beating the Dallas Cowboys handily on Saturday, the one area where the Denver Broncos were absolutely dominated in was their rushing attack. They rushed for just 39 yards on an incredible 22 attempts for a paltry 1.8 yards per rush. In fact, the longest gain they had all day was six yards. That won’t win a lot of games in the NFL.
When asked about his observations on tape about that game, head coach Nathaniel Hackett spent a bit of time mentioning the struggles in the run game.
“I had a couple of things that I think I could have corrected and helped them a little bit earlier because we saw some different things early,” Hackett noted on Monday. “In the end, the run game was not good enough. We have addressed that. We’ve talked about that, and we have to be able to adjust on the fly if things happen.”
Hackett noticed that the Cowboys were fully committed to shutting down the Broncos run game and recognized that his error was not turning to more pass-heavy play calling.
“No,” Hackett said. “I think that the Cowboys went into that game and said, ‘We’re going to stop the run.’ They were going to put everybody in the box, and they’re going to stop it. I wanted to try to force that a little bit and continue to work at that. In a different situation, I think I probably would have thrown the ball a little bit more. It’s a game, you’re always trying to get that run game going.”
It all ended up working out as the Cowboys spent a lot of time shooting themselves in their own foot with penalties and other miscues. The Broncos were able to lean on three solid scoring drives backed by a strong defensive effort to secure that first preseason win.
Even so, we’ll need to see how the run game does this weekend when they take on the Buffalo Bills on Saturday.