The Broncos are currently scoring 18.0 points per game this season, which ranks 26th in the NFL and that has translated into a 1-4 record. How do the Broncos become more effective on offense you might ask? Put the ball into the hands of their best offensive weapon – Phillip Lindsay.
The second-year back is averaging 4.7 yards per carry and the Broncos are undefeated when Lindsay rushes for at least 100 yards in a game during his career. Denver doesn’t need Lindsay to carry the ball 25 times per game, but they need to make sure he’s getting a majority of the carries instead of Royce Freeman.
In today’s NFL, the running back position is being used more than we’ve ever seen in NFL history. We are seeing running backs lining up all over the field and being more involved in the passing game, as well. The prime example was in 2014 when Le’Veon Bell rushed for more than 1,300 yards and had 800-plus receiving yards. Since then, we’ve seen it happen more often than not with players like Alvin Kamara and Christian McCaffrey.
McCaffrey is the perfect example this season, as the Panthers running back is leading the way with 966 total yards in the NFL. The MVP candidate has more total yards than the entire Jets team so far this season. These are numbers that Lindsay can come close to putting up as well if used properly.
Broncos first-time play caller Rich Scangarello needs to realize what he has in his second-year back before it’s too late. The Broncos are not creative enough on offense and that’s because they’re not using their talent correctly.
One of the best ways to be more creative is watch how the Panthers use McCaffrey and use Lindsay the same way. Denver can easily line up Lindsay as a receiver in the slot as cause a mismatch to opposing defenses. Teams will be forced to put a linebacker or even a safety on him, a matchup that Lindsay should be able to win the majority of the time in open space. If opposing defenses end up lining a safety on Lindsay, that means that Denver will be facing a single high safety in which Joe Flacco will have a chance to send Emmanuel Sanders or Courtland Sutton on go routes to have a chance for a big play. This could also open up rookie tight end Noah Fant over the middle to get more catches and be more involved.
Don’t forget that the Patriots use their running backs a lot in the passing game as well and they’ve won Super Bowls doing it. In Super Bowl 52, New England running back James White caught 14 passes for 110 yards and one touchdown against the Falcons. Earlier that season, the Broncos were beat in the passing game from a running back as well against Kyle Shanahan and Atlanta. Tevin Coleman caught four passes and went for 132 yards and one touchdown.
Remember that Scangarello was with Shanahan at that time.
It’s time for Rich Scangarello to be more creative with the explosive back so that this team can score points. This offense must go through its best offensive weapon, like the Panthers do with McCaffrey, and it will succeed. The Panthers are 3-0 with a backup quarterback since Cam Newton is out so this formula does work. You just have to execute it.
The best teams in the NFL right now are dominating because of their explosive offenses and in order for the Broncos to turn this season around they must get creative with Phillip Lindsay.
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