ENGLEWOOD, Colo — The Denver Broncos running game is fine.
It could use a little more pop, but it breaks a lot of tackles.
Here’s how the Broncos’ two-back system worked in week 1 against the Raiders:
- Javonte Williams: 29 snaps, 13 carries, 52 yards; 4 catches, 5 yards; 17 touches, 57 yards.
- Samaje Perine: 29 snaps, 8 carries, 41 yards, 4 catches, 37 yards; 12 touches 78 yards.
Not bad. Overall, the Broncos rank No. 17 in rushing after week 1.
“Obviously, it was only the first game but I can see us down the stretch going into the third and fourth quarter really leaning on defenses when they’re getting tired and we’re still relatively fresh because we’re two physical backs,’’ Perine said Monday in a conference call with local reporters. “Some teams just aren’t going to want to go against that for four quarters. But yesterday I feel like was a decent debut. Would have been great to get the win. There was some things we have to clean up but also there were lots of positives to take away from this game and I’m just excited to see how we keep moving forward and how we respond.”
No. 3 running back Jaleel McLaughlin, the preseason rookie star who brings a speed element to the backfield, got in for just five snaps. Two were called back by penalty and he was swarmed for a 7-yard loss off his one catch.
Russell Wilson sent 9 of his 27 completions to running backs which may be a couple more than ideal but with the Raiders’ defense playing a lot of shell zone defense, according to Broncos’ head coach and play-caller Sean Payton, he said his quarterback did a good job of taking what was there.
“Sean told us you never know how we’re going to get used, so it’s just how offenses are going nowadays,’’ Perine said. “Running backs have to adapt and be able to catch the ball out of the backfield. Felt like we did a pretty decent job of that (Monday) and looking to get that going more and more so defenses not only have to worry about us running the ball but also catching out of the backfield. It gives the defenses something else to think about.”
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