Broncos running game picks up for stretch run

The numbers don’t lie. The running game of the Denver Broncos is

on the upswing in time for the stretch run.

The team ran for 136 yards against the New York Giants and a

week ago amassed 245 yards on the ground against Kansas City’s


“I think we are pleased with what we’ve done the last few

weeks,” Denver coach Josh McDaniels said. “We’ve done it by

showing improvement in a number of areas.”

That includes Denver’s output on short-yardage and goal line

situations and a reduction to almost no negative plays when the

Broncos are running.

“We struggled a little bit in the middle of the year with our

short yardage and goal line,” McDaniels said. “Last week it was

important for us to convert a few of those and also shore up on the

goal line.”

One of the most successful short-yardage plays came early in the

fourth quarter of the Kansas City game. On fourth-and 1 from the

Chiefs 18, rookie Knowshon Moreno scooted around the left side of

the line, down the sideline and into the end zone.

“The biggest thing we’ve always talked about is negative plays

and last week I think we had 45 carries and one negative run,”

said McDaniels. “That’s a good percentage for us and as long as we

continue to do that, I think we will be effective running the


“It was always there, it was just a missed read here and

there,” Moreno said of the running game. “I think we’re coming

together more and trying to make the best of our


And just in time for the Broncos’ upcoming matchup with the

unbeaten Indianapolis Colts.

During film sessions, Denver’s running game didn’t get unnoticed

by Indianapolis coach Jim Caldwell.

“They are a very talented team, first of all, and they have a

really strong running attack, too,” Caldwell said. “Two

outstanding backs that are doing a great job.”

Two backs, the young Moreno and 31-year old Correll Buckhalter,

who are a perfect complement to each other.

“Buck is a little faster, has a great burst and gets to the

edge on his speed,” McDaniels said. “Knowshon is a little bit of

a slippery runner inside the tackles, has a little more spin moves

and does it in a different way.”

“I feed off of him and he feeds off of me,” Buckhalter said of

Moreno. “The guy plays with lot of tenacity and emotion and he

makes me feel young.”

Moreno leads all NFL rookies with 774 rushing yards. Buckhalter

has rushed for 563 yards.