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Old 12-01-2009, 03:22 AM   #1
Bronco Rob
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Default Broncos give any foe a run for money when they can run

Broncos give any foe a run for money when they can run


By Jeff Legwold
The Denver Post
Posted: 12/01/2009 01:00:00 AM MST



Like many in the throes of the holiday season, the Broncos are searching for balance in their lives.

Now that November has given way to December with the Broncos (7-4) fighting for a playoff berth, it's clear nothing has ensured victory for them this season like a balanced offense.

"When we have it, good things happen," quarterback Kyle Orton said.

The Broncos' 26-6 victory over the New York Giants on Thanksgiving was the latest example. It may have been the otherworldly passing numbers the New England Patriots put up with Josh McDaniels as their offensive coordinator that got the Broncos' attention, but it's the Broncos' numbers running the ball that have made things go well in McDaniels' first season as Denver's

coach.

With the workmanlike dispatching of the Giants, the Broncos are 4-0 in games this season when they run the ball the same number of times as they throw it or run it more than they throw it. They have scored a lot more 27.5 points per game, compared with 12.3 in those run-heavy games.

Toss in a victory over the Dallas Cowboys, when they threw the ball only four more times than they ran it, and the Broncos have been close to a lock to win when they get things going on the ground.

As linebacker Andra Davis put it in the wake of the victory over the Giants: "We know who we are. On both sides of the ball, on special teams, we know who we are."

When things have gotten lopsided, it usually has meant the Broncos lost the battle at the line of scrimmage, lost the battle for tempo and needed to throw the ball to catch up. In games they have thrown the ball at least 11 times more than they have run it, either by choice or because of the way the game unfolded, they are 1-3.

The Broncos also have a loss, at Washington, where they threw the ball nine times more than they ran it. And if not for an improbable touchdown on a deflected pass in the opener at Cincinnati, a game when the

Broncos threw the ball eight times more than they ran it, another loss would be on the imbalanced pile.

"I think we play well with that rhythm," wide receiver Brandon Stokley said. "When we execute the offense and do the things we can do, we can run the ball and be productive all over the field."

The only victory this season when the Broncos leaned well to the passing side of the ledger came against New England, when Orton threw the ball a career-high 48 times on the way to a season-high 330 yards passing.

Against a defense McDaniels knew better than any other team on the Denver schedule, Orton repeatedly attacked the Patriots' cornerbacks and the Broncos threw out of the shotgun 28 times.

"You always want to run the ball," McDaniels said. "That's always the goal, to stay balanced, to have that good mix."

But the question McDaniels and others face is how long to wait. Against a team like the defending Super Bowl champion Steelers, who are No. 1 in the 32-team NFL in run defense, the Broncos didn't have success running early in the game. So they didn't run much, then found themselves behind.

The Broncos had 21 yards on their first 10 carries in that game, including three for negative yardage, but the 10th running play also didn't come until just before the two-minute warning in the first half.

The potential is there for the Broncos to pound away down the stretch. Of the four teams remaining on their schedule they play Kansas City twice during the final five weeks only Philadelphia (No. 8) is in the NFL's top 10 in run defense. The Chiefs rank 27th, the Colts 15th and the Raiders just 31st.

"Offensively, when we move the ball, use the clock, we're that complementary team we want to be," Broncos defensive lineman Vonnie Holliday said. "Defensively we want to stop people from scoring and get the ball back for our offense. And offensively when we keep the ball as much as we did (against the Giants), that makes what we do easier.

"You're playing with good field position, you're fresh and in control


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Old 12-01-2009, 03:39 AM   #2
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I can't wait for the December games and to run the hell out of the ball. I hope we focus more on the ZBS plays now that Harris is going to be back at RT. Polumbus was ok but was a real stiff in run blocking.

Also Graham completely owned the Giants DEs/LBers in run support. We're such a better team when we work off an effective play action game.
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Old 12-01-2009, 03:57 AM   #3
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Quote:
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I can't wait for the December games and to run the hell out of the ball. I hope we focus more on the ZBS plays now that Harris is going to be back at RT. Polumbus was ok but was a real stiff in run blocking.

Also Graham completely owned the Giants DEs/LBers in run support. We're such a better team when we work off an effective play action game.
I hope McD allows Moreno to run more from the I-formation with Larsen or Hillis providing lead blocking as the FB's. Moreno would really excell and the running attack would be consistent down the stretch.
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Old 12-01-2009, 04:02 AM   #4
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I hope McD allows Moreno to run more from the I-formation with Larsen or Hillis providing lead blocking as the FB's. Moreno would really excell and the running attack would be consistent down the stretch.
Larsen is nothing special as a fullback. I would rather have Graham on the perimeter, with three wide to push the safeties back.

Putting in Larsen is only going to telegraph run because he can't catch the ball unlike Kyle Johnson we used to have in the red zone.

Last edited by fontaine; 12-01-2009 at 04:05 AM..
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Old 12-01-2009, 08:25 AM   #5
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Larsen is nothing special as a fullback. I would rather have Graham on the perimeter, with three wide to push the safeties back.

Putting in Larsen is only going to telegraph run because he can't catch the ball unlike Kyle Johnson we used to have in the red zone.
HOw would that telegraph run? WOuld larsen be the only receiver in a route? Um no
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Old 12-01-2009, 08:29 AM   #6
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I hate the fake stats like this tbh "When they run more than they pass" OF COURSE THEYLL BE RUNNING MORE IN GAMES THAT THEY'RE WINNING, AND VICE VERSA.
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Old 12-01-2009, 08:37 AM   #7
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well, when you have a Left Guard that is competent, of course you are going to start running the ball better.
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Old 12-01-2009, 09:11 AM   #8
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Its December.

Time for Hillis.
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Old 12-01-2009, 09:13 AM   #9
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Its December.

Time for Hillis.
That actually could be a good strategy. He has natural camoflauge for when it snows!
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Old 12-01-2009, 10:30 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rastaman View Post
I hope McD allows Moreno to run more from the I-formation with Larsen or Hillis providing lead blocking as the FB's. Moreno would really excell and the running attack would be consistent down the stretch.
Larsen didn't get enough notice against the Giants, he had a pretty good game for us.
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