We are more than two months into the 2017 fiscal year for the National Football League. It’s safe to say we have seen plenty of player movement via free agency and trades. And in late April, a total of 253 players were selected in the NFL draft. So as teams stare at mini-camps, OTAs and more, we figured it was a good time to have some fun looking (and learning) at the significant numbers – both in regards to the past and the present – for each of the 32 franchises. You can play catch-up by clicking here. Next up are the Denver Broncos.
When you think about it, the failure for the Denver Broncos to return to the playoffs in an attempt to defend their Super Bowl 50 title lied in two big shortcomings. First things first. The team finished 27th in the NFL in rushing, averaging a disappointing 92.3 yards per game on the ground. Rookie running back Devontae Booker would wind up leading the team with 612 rushing yards. He returns this year, as does C.J. Anderson. But the team did add four-time Pro Bowler Jamaal Charles, released this offseason by the AFC West rival Kansas City Chiefs.
The failure to run the ball and the inability to stop the other team from doing the same was a season-long problem for this club in 2016. During the previous season, only two clubs in the NFL allowed fewer yards per game on the ground. That changed dramatically this past year, opponents averaged 130.3 yards per game rushing – 28th in the league. It eventually caught up with the Broncos, who dropped seven of their final 12 games following a 4-0 start.
With the retirement of Gary Kubiak, former Miami Dolphins‘ defensive coordinator Vance Joseph is the Denver Broncos’ newest head coach. It’s a somewhat intriguing decision considering the aforementioned issues that this team has stopping the run this past season. That’s because in ’16, only two teams in the NFL (San Francisco 49ers and Cleveland Browns) allowed more rushing yards than Joseph’s unit with the ‘Fins. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.