Knowshon Moreno ran all over the New York Giants defense this week, giving the Denver Broncos the running game that they needed to compliment the passing of Peyton Manning. No doubt the Denver offense revolves around Manning and the aerial attack, but it was the play of Moreno that got them the lead over the Giants when the passing game struggled to find its way early in the game.
Moreno came into training camp as the third running back on the Broncos depth chart. Despite being the team’s most dependable back last season, Moreno was slotted behind Ronnie Hillman and rookie Montee Ball. Those two were supposed to carry the load for the Denver running game. But in the first two weeks, it’s been the reliability of Moreno, which has kept him on the field more than his younger counterparts.
Against the Giants, Moreno ran for 93 yards on 13 carries, including touchdown runs of 20 and 25 yards. Those two touchdown runs were just what the team needed. The first gave them the initial lead in the game, and the second extended their lead just before the half.
The Broncos are going to need a consistent, reliable running game if they’re going to continue to dominate the league the way they have. You don’t win games with your running backs anymore, but you do need them to take the yards that defenses will continue to give them as they spend all their energy trying to stop Manning.
Hillman and Ball will continue to push Moreno for playing time all year. Both are talented and young, but both have also shown the propensity to put the ball on the ground at inopportune times.
Denver will be one of the best teams in the league all year, and the running of Moreno will be just another weapon at their disposal.