Broncos stunk at the goal-line last year.
Posted Mar. 03 at 07:47 AM
You tend to think of Denver as one of the league’s rushing teams. Mike Shanahan’s zone-blocking system and all. All kinds of various runners going over 1,000 yards – some of them literally coming in off the street.
Prior to last year, the Broncos led the league in rushing over the last 10 years, at 143 yards per game. Almost 18 rushing TDs per year in those 10 seasons as well.
But that vaunted running game has been slipping. It dropped to 8th in 2006, and slipped to 9th last season – two of the worst four seasons since Mike Shanahan has had since he took over there in 1995.
A declining offensive line appears to be the main culprit. With a lot of lesser blockers, the holes haven’t been as big, and they haven’t stayed open as long.
Look at how Denver fared last season in goal-line situations: Only 11 running plays from 1- or 2-yard line, the team scored only 2 TDs. That was the worst conversion rate in the league. (The rest of the league converted over half of those plays into touchdowns last year).
Unless the Broncos can re-build their offensive line, it’s unlikely that Travis Henry or Selvin Young – or any other back they might obtain – is going to be a top-15 back this year. Most likely, the team will use some kind of committee approach and Denver won’t even have a top-20 fantasy back.
The best teams in goal-line rushing last year with the Vikings (who scored on all 8 of their carries inside the 3), and the Titans (6 of 8 on running plays in that area).
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