by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
When asked about the Broncos’ starting running back spot Troy E. Renck of The Denver Post (click here for the article) responded with:
“Anderson figures to have one more game to secure the starting job. At this point, any evaluation is complicated, if not unfair. Anderson is battling through toe and ankle soreness. He says he’s fine, because he’s tough like that. But he has received no help from the struggling offensive line. Some of his best runs have been making tacklers miss in the backfield for a 1-yard gain.”
While Hillman has been the “better” back, neither of the Broncos’ running backs have been particularly impressive:
- C.J. Anderson – 24 carries for 56 yards (2.3 YPC)
- Ronnie Hillman – 21 carries for 75 yards (3.6 YPC)
As Renck notes Anderson has been battling injuries and poor offensive line play, but the discrepancy between the two dates back to the preseason and they are running behind the same offensive line. That has to mean something and, while the team is 2-0, they desperately need to get a running game going given the questions surrounding Peyton Manning.
The upcoming schedule certainly paves the way for an improved running game (the ranking in parenthesis is where each team ranks in points against to opposing RB):
- Week 3 – at Detroit Lions (4th)
- Week 4 – vs. Minnesota Vikings (15th)
- Week 5 – at Oakland Raiders (3rd)
- Week 6 – at Cleveland Browns (6th)
In other words if Anderson can’t produce early in Week 3, the red carpet is going to be rolled out for Hillman to quickly rise to prominent status. If he’s still sitting on your waiver wire, he shouldn’t be.
Sources – NFL.com, ESPN, Denver Post