Broncos are running the ball better than most think

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Justifiably, all of the focus thus far has been on Peyton Manning's historic start, and his devastating trio of receivers have gotten plenty of attention as well.

In many instances, talk of Denver's offense has featured a Yeah, but they could run the ball better caveat.

But is that really the case?

Their #4 ranking in run success rate, according to Advanced NFL Stats, doesn't exactly support that.

So far, the Broncos have split carries pretty evenly among Knowshon Moreno (46), Ronnie Hillman (25), and Montee Ball (39).

In terms of counting stats, Moreno is currently on pace to match or exceed his career highs.

But as for success rates, he's among the league's leaders, while Hillman isn't too far behind.

To wit, Knowshon's rank among the NFL's backs are #3 in WPA and EPA, #11 in success rate, and #12 in YPC. Only LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles outrank him in WPA and EPA.

Meanwhile, Hillman is #13 (tie) in WPA, #5 in EPA, #2 in success rate (!), and #15 (tie) in YPC.

Of course, they owe much of this success to Manning and his receivers (and big leads), but still, these are not numbers at which to turn one's nose up.


Video: Chris Harris and Demaryius Thomas were mic'ed up for Sunday's game against Philly; John Elway's latest BTV session.

Derek Wolfe says the frightful nature of his preseason injury hasn't affected his style of play.

Milt Plum didn't even realize he had the record for most TD passes without a pick until Peyton Manning tied it.

Dan Reeves was part of the 1966 Cowboys who stand as the only team to have scored more through four games than these Broncos.

Broncos Analysis

Andrew Mason revisits Sunday's win and considers the areas for improvement cited by John Fox.

Joan Niesen thinks the Broncos have a pretty clear path to an 8-0 record at the bye; Mike Klis responds to emails.

Among unbeaten teams, the Chiefs and Broncos have faced the easiest schedules to this point.

Aaron Schatz considers which NFL records the Broncos are likeliest to break, as far as predictions after four games go.

According to PFF, Ronnie Hillman's 80% rate of running for at least three yards is the best in the league.


The NFLPA will of course investigate the leak of Josh Freeman's presence in the NFL's drug testing program.

Titans QB Jake Locker will miss a few weeks with a sprained knee and hip; Jets WR Santonio Holmes will miss time with a hamstring injury, prompting the team to add David Nelson.

Jacksonville will deal T Eugene Monroe to Baltimore for multiple late draft picks; Pittsburgh is expected to acquire T Levi Brown from Arizona; Cincy added LB Michael BoleySt. Louis cut T Max Starks to make room for Jo-Lonn Dunbar, whom they re-signed; QB John Skelton is reportedly choosing sign with San Francisco rather than Tennessee; the Giants waived RB Da'Rel Scott and added C Dallas Reynolds.

Things are getting quite rough in Houston for Matt Schaub, who deleted his Twitter account and has local restaurants mocking his play.

During his DUI arrest, three-time AFC title game loser Bernie Kosar blamed his old offensive linemen for his inability to take a field sobriety test.


Terrell Suggs is the latest idiot to suggest that Roger Goodell had a hand in the Super Bowl blackout.

Chip Kelly sounds like your run-of-the-mill old school NFL coach in responding to questions about his meek decisions from Sunday.

Matthew Stafford is awestruck by the play of Peyton Manning.


Ben Muth breaks down the varied looks shown by the Seahawks defense; Bucky Brooks explains the surprising success of the Browns defense.

Scott Kacsmar chronicles last week's comeback attempts; Bill Barnwell on the worst coaching decisions; Eric Edholm looks ahead to the Week 5 matchups.


PFF's team of September includes Peyton Manning, Wes Welker, Louis Vasquez, Trindon Holliday, and David Bruton.

Chris Burke includes Danny Trevathan among his positive surprises; no Broncos make Doug Farrar's group of disappointments.

Peyton Manning is Will Brinson's MVP so far and Brinson and Jason La Canfora's OPOY, too.

Denver is #1 in the PFF, AP, and ESPN power rankings, as well as Pat Kirwan's and Pete Prisco's, if you care.

Doug is IAOFM’s resident newsman and spelling czar. Follow him on Twitter @IAOFM

The Lard