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Offensive Coordinator Joe Lombardi on sticking with the run game, ‘I think it was huge’

The Denver Broncos 2023 offensive identity revolves around the run game and that is something they need to continue having success with.

NFL: Denver Broncos at Buffalo Bills Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Offensively, the Denver Broncos have not been flashy. However, when they’ve had opportunities close to the end zone they have been able to convert consistently enough to win their last three games. A lot of that has to do with their commitment to run game.

When asked about sticking to the run game, Broncos’ offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi felt it was vital to the game and helped with time of possession.

“I think it was huge,” Lombardi said on Friday. “It helps with time of possession. We didn’t break a lot of big gains, but those three- and four-yard gains add up. They keep you ahead of the sticks.”

Against the Buffalo Bills, the Broncos dominated that category with over 37 minutes with the ball. They topped the Kansas City Chiefs too with nearly 34 minutes in time of possession.

However, one thing we all know is holding this offense back is penalties. I lost count of how many false start penalties were called against them last week, but it was pretty bad. That is something Lombardi continued to talk about, because having a good running game doesn’t matter if your drives are consistently killed by dumb mistakes.

“One thing we were trying to avoid with the penalties—we didn’t do a great job—is just with that Buffalo defense, staying out of the third-and-longers,” Lombardi continued. “Unfortunately, the penalties kind of kicked us out, but when you’re running the ball, even if it’s not the eight- or nine-yard gains, you’re still not in third-and-nine, third-and-10. Those are the really tough downs against most defenses.”

Denver had 10 penalties last week and six the week prior and they often killed what looked like promising drives. That has got to get cleaned if this team is serious about getting back above .500.

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