Denver Broncos Run Game Looked The Best It Has All Season Sunday Afternoon


Oct 12, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Denver Broncos running back Ronnie Hillman (23) is tackled by New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson (96) during the first quarter of their NFL football game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos are not known for their run game, but they need it in order to be successful in the playoffs. Sunday afternoon, the Broncos had easily their best game of the season in terms of running the ball — which is great to see. With the injury to Montee Ball, a few backs needed to step up and they did just that.

Denver came away with the 31-17 victory this past Sunday against the previously 1-4 New York Jets, but it didn’t come easy. Denver’s offense, led by Peyton Manning was sloppy but we Broncos’ fans are sure spoiled due to last season’s margins of victory. The defense came up huge with Aqib Talib recording a pick-six to end the game, or else Denver would have won by just one score.

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Back to the run game. Like noted above, Denver’s offensive line blocked the best it has all season, giving Ronnie Hillman and Juwan Thompson gaps to work with. Hillman had his best peformance of his young career, carrying the ball 24 times as he collected 100 yards on the ground — his 1st 100-yard game of his career.

Thompson on the other hand didn’t get that much of a workload, but impressed the team in his limited action. Juwan carried the ball just eight times against the Jets, resulting in 38 yards with a long of 16, including 4.8 yards per carry.

Many will be quick to jump the gun on Denver’s front office for not re-signing Knowshon Moreno, who had a career-year with the record-setting 2013 Broncos. Moreno carried the ball 241 times for Denver last season, collecting 1,038 yards and 10 touchdowns to show for it. This season however, Moreno has been slowed down by injury, tallying just 14 yards on 7 attempts his last two games. Moreno did have a great opening week against the New England Patriots however, where he rushed for 134 yards on 24 attempts with one touchdown — collecting 5.6 yards per carry that game.

Personally, I believe this Broncos rushing attack will be fine with continued repetition in-game. Hillman and Thompson provided an intriguing one-two punch this past Sunday; a balance between speed and power. One thing to keep an eye on this upcoming weekend is how well Hillman, Thompson, and offensive line fair against a pretty good defense vs. San Francisco.