Entering last Monday’s contest with the Steelers, the Broncos were aware of the potent run defense on the Pittsburgh sideline.
That awareness did not translate into results on the field, as Denver finished with a season-low 27 yards on the ground. Pittsburgh’s front seven maintained its No. 1 tag, squelching any chance for a balanced attack from the home team.
“We’d love to get balance,” Kyle Orton said. “It’s tough when you have 20 yards rushing or whatever we had. It’s tough. Saying that, there’s games where it’s going to happen and you’ve got to rely on the passing game.”
The Broncos got their passing game into gear early, leaving the first quarter of the contest with a 3-0 lead. Orton and the offense ran 15 plays, completing 9-of-11 passes for 89 yards and racking up five first downs.
None of those first downs came out of the backfield, as Denver’s ground game mustered four first-quarter carries for one yard. The struggles persisted into the second half, as the Broncos were held to one total rushing yard over the game’s final 30 minutes.
Rookie Knowshon Moreno said corrections for the Washington game will start with better cohesion from both sides of the offense.
“We’ve got to work together,” Moreno said. “The running game has to help the passing game, the passing game has to help the running game. I think we weren’t really able to get the running game established and that hurt us – definitely.”
Correll Buckhalter had the best flashes of fluidity against Pittsburgh, finishing with 24 yards on nine carries. To establish that togetherness, the nine-year veteran said all members of the offense have a part in the process.
From the offensive line playing penalty-free, to the running backs hitting holes quickly, every player has their job in turning the running game into a juggernaut.
“That is all that it boils down to,” Buckhalter said. “There is no finger-pointing at anybody. We are all in this together as an offense. It takes all 11 guys to get the running game going.”
MOULTON ADDED TO PRACTICE SQUAD
The Broncos announced the signing of cornerback Rashod Moulton on Wednesday to their practice squad.
That roster spot became available once the New York Giants signed cornerback D.J. Johnson off the Broncos’ practice squad and onto their active roster on Wednesday.
Moulton is a first-year player who spent the latter half of last season on Denver’s practice squad. He competed in Broncos training camp earlier this summer, before being waived on Sept. 4.
Here are some more photos from the start of Wednesday’s practice.
– Chris Gentilviso, DenverBroncos.com