11/25/2012 10:13 AM
Broncos hurting with no rushing game---against the pass defense
The Broncos are No. 19 in rushing this year — but No. 2 in scoring — in part because their quarterback, Peyton Manning, is one of the best passers of all time.
"I know they were No. 1 in the league in rushing last year," Manning said. "I know (coaches) Eric (Studesville), Mike (McCoy), (Dave Magazu) and Clancy (Barone), the guys in charge of the run game, they're still on us to do better. Anyone on the offensive line would like to see us near the top."
When McGahee learned through an MRI exam Monday that he would not play again this season unless the Broncos advance to the AFC championship game, it hurt. It especially will hurt the Broncos in
their attempts to keep opposing nickel defenses off balance. McGahee may have been 11th in the league with 735 yards rushing overall through 10 games, but he had the fifth-most yards against nickel packages, which means packages with an extra or fifth defensive back.
"To say we're not going to miss Willis would not be telling the truth," Manning said. "He's that good of a player."
The Broncos are expected to replace McGahee in the starting lineup with Knowshon Moreno or Lance Ball, who are better pass protectors against the blitz than rookie Ronnie Hillman, the most explosive runner of the three.