Broncos Should Abandon Running Game

Photo Courtesy of Bleacher Report

Photo Courtesy of Bleacher Report

The Broncos spent so much money on improving their defense that they neglected their running game. They knew improving their defense was a necessity this offseason, so they focused on that unit rather than keeping Knowshon Moreno, who left to sign with the Dolphins this offseason.

With the Broncos utilizing their passing game more than the running game, they felt it did not make sense to allocate their money on Moreno. Montee Ball is their primary running back, but the Broncos named him their starter by default than justifying their faith in him.

The results have not been good for Ball and the Broncos. The second-year running back ran for 165 yards on 49 carries with one touchdown to show for it. It was telling when the Broncos passed the ball a lot more in their game last week against the Seahawks after their running game did nothing.

There was criticism about the offense being predictable and all. Here’s the problem: If Ball can’t do much, there’s nothing the Broncos can do but stick with the passing game. They shouldn’t force Ball to run the ball if he is not good enough.

Is it a bad thing the Broncos pass consistently? With the Broncos having so many wide receivers for Peyton Manning to throw to, there’s no reason to fix something that is broke. Teams only use their running backs if the offense is not explosive enough.

The wide receivers such as Julius Thomas, Demaryius Thomas and Wes Welker are good enough to run for several yards, so the Broncos can use those guys to compensate for Ball’s struggles.

To expect a lot from Ball was crazy to begin with. He was okay at best in his rookie year. He ran for 559 yards on 120 carries with four touchdowns. He struggled to block last year. He couldn’t find a way to push the other guys to score. It was tough to watch.

There has to be patience with young players. Remember it took awhile for Moreno to be an impact running back. Problem is the Broncos are a win-now team. They can’t wait for Ball to take his time to develop. They need to go with guys that can get the job done. If it takes passing the ball for the entire game, so be it.

There’s no rule where Ball has to be utilized.

For anyone to say the Broncos struggled in the Super Bowl because they did not use their running game, that’s ridiculous. Moreno had a hard time running the ball early on in that game.

The best way to use Ball is to use him to run for a few yards that is close to the first down or let him milk the clock in the end. If he can get confidence from that, he can be used for an important role in running for a first down.

It’s understandable why the Broncos want to use him. First of all, he was their last year’s draft pick, and the Broncos want to build around him for the next few years.  Second of all, they want to create a balance on their offense.

It’s amusing they want to create a balance since they did not sign a free agent running back this offseason to replace Moreno.

Maybe Ball can learn and improve on the job this year, but the Broncos can’t make it a necessity for him to get his touches. They have to focus on winning games by using their strength, which is their passing game. Besides running game has become ancient in today’s NFL, which emphasizes more on throwing the ball.

If the Broncos fail to win the Super Bowl, it won’t be because of the lack of running game. It will be more of Manning and his receivers not being in sync or great defense getting to Manning.

It’s interesting why there are folks that are obsessed with the lack of running game. This Broncos offense has always been predicated on throwing the ball, and it has worked well for the last three years with Manning being the maestro of the passing attack.

The only time the Broncos needed their running game to work was when they had Tim Tebow at quarterback. The running backs had to make his job easy for him to have success. That’s not the case here.

The Broncos have a plan where they can make it work for Ball. They will use him where they see fit.

The running game is not the be all end all.

The Broncos shouldn’t fix something when it’s not broke.

Contact or Follow Leslie Monteiro: @LightRodWriter

Leslie Monteiro

Leslie Monteiro

Leslie is a contributor for Lightning Rod Sports. He covered high school sports in Bergen County out in North Jersey, and has written op-ed columns on sports such as Bleacher Report and NY Sports Digest.

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