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Factoid

Running wild

Kansas City can't stop the run

Denver and Kansas City play in the Thursday night game, and I am very interested to see how well the Broncos can move the ball on the ground. Kansas City has been awfully leaky against the run recently – historically bad.

In each of the last four weeks, Kansas City has allowed at least 180 rushing yards. The Ravens ran for 203 and 4 TDs at Arrowhead. Detroit (the Lions!) ran for 186 yards against them. The Colts came into Arrowhead and ran for 180 and a touchdown. And the Texans on Sunday ran for 192 yards and 3 TDs at Arrowhead.

Only once in the last 15 years has any other defense allowed at least 180 rushing yards in four straight games.

I think that makes the Broncos very intriguing on Thursday night. They’ve shown some ability to run it. Phillip Lindsay (pictured) was very good as a rookie. They went into Lambeau a month ago and ran for 149 yards and 2 TDs. When they won at Los Angeles two weeks ago, it was with 191 rushing yards and a touchdown.

Looks to me like there’s some chance they run for 200 yards and a couple of touchdowns in this game.

Only problem I see is that it’s definitely a one-two punch backfield. In each of the last three games, Royce Freeman has been on the field a little more than Phillip Lindsay. They both tend to play about half of the time. But they’re both at least involved as both runners and receivers.

In the first six weeks of the season, Lindsay has averaged 66 rushing and 25 receiving yards, with 4 TDs. Freeman in those games has averaged 47 rushing and 24 receiving yards (albeit with no touchdowns).

In my eyes, Lindsay looks like a possible top-5 back. Freeman should be a top-15 or 20 guy, and I don’t think it would be a surprise if he punches in a couple of touchdowns and finishes in the top 10, given the opponent.

In the last 15 years, there have been 13 other games where offenses have taken the field against defenses that have allowed at least 180 rushing yards in three straight games. Those offenses have averaged 133 rushing yards in those games, with 16 touchdowns.

RUNNING AGAINST BAD DEFENSES
YearOffenseOpp.ResultAttYardsAvgTD
2006NY Jetsat Buff.L 13-31301324.40
2007San DiegoDen.W 41-3372145.82
2007Pittsburghat Den.L 28-31261194.60
2008Houstonat Ind.L 27-3122793.61
2009CincinnatiK.C.W 17-10361444.00
2010BaltimoreBuff.W 37-34291354.71
2012Tennesseeat Buff.W 35-34271977.34
2012HoustonBuff.W 21-9321183.71
2012ClevelandBalt.L 15-25271164.30
2013ClevelandChi.L 31-3817935.51
2014New EnglandMia.W 41-13291083.72
2016ArizonaS.F.W 23-2023803.51
2019Houstonat K.C.W 31-24411924.73
2019DenverK.C.?????

—Ian Allan

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