This biggest story of the Denver Broncos season has been the emergence of Phillip Lindsay as the number one running back. He supplanted Royce Freeman and Devontae Booker early on, and has burst onto the NFL stage. The “Denver Pitbull” is making a big name for himself this season, but how can he make a bigger impact?
When Ian St. Clair and I sat down to discuss the Broncos upcoming game against the San Francisco 49ers, it was before Emmanuel Sanders was lost for the season with a torn Achilles. As we discussed on the MHR Radio Podcast, the Broncos need to be finding more ways to get the ball into Lindsay’s hands. Now, with another weapon lost for the season, it elevates his role in the offense.
While Lindsay has been one of the best running backs rushing the football, he has not factored into the passing game nearly as much. There is an opportunity to work him into the passing game even more. Think Alvin Kamara with the New Orleans Saints. Denver’s offense has the talent to incorporate some of the same style that the Saints use with Kamara and Mark Ingram.
What that means is finding a way to work Freeman into the Broncos offense more. Denver has already shown they trust Freeman. After he fumbled against the Cincinnati Bengals the team could have sat him on the sidelines the rest of the game. Instead, Vance Joseph and Bill Musgrave went back to the rookie. They clearly trust him. Working him into the offense more could open things up for Lindsay.
With the playoffs in sight, it is important that the Broncos continue to find ways to put points on the board. Mimicking New Orleans could be a good start. Finding ways to get Freeman and Lindsay on the field at the same time could help to open up the offense even more. With Lindsay averaging over six yards per carry, getting him more touches should be the goal as the Broncos keep inching closer to the playoffs.
The concern becomes how does the offense stay away from becoming one dimensional? With an increase in snaps for Freeman, and shared time on the field, the offense can avoid becoming stale and predictable. It can open up holes for Lindsay, and expand the offense even further during the playoff push. It would be a small tactical shift, but it could pay huge dividends as the playoffs continue to approach.
And if you really want to show your love for Lindsay, grab a Denver Pitbull shirt here, or pick up the Orange Rush hoodie. When you buy the hoodie, use the code HOODIEHALF at checkout and also get the Pitbull shirt for half the price and free shipping.