The Denver Broncos ranked just 20th in rushing last season as the combination of Royce Freeman and Phillip Lindsay at running back couldn’t overcome scattered quarterback play and struggles on the offensive line.
Broncos General Manager John Elway is hopeful that the addition of Melvin Gordon through free agency will be one move that helps the team get their ground attack surging back in 2020.
“Obviously we had two good backs in Royce Freeman and [Phillip] Lindsay,” Elway said, via the team’s website. “We know that [Lindsay] is a guy that’s had a great year for us. I know there’s people going, ‘Why do you need another horse?’ Well, when you have an opportunity for Melvin Gordon to come in here, we felt like it was an addition to the team. He’s a guy that obviously has had a lot of success in this league. He’s scored a lot of touchdowns and has caught the football a ton. So we feel like with him — with Melvin, as well as Phillip — that we’ve got a great one-two punch, and we’ll only get better in the backfield.”
While Lindsey posted a second straight 1,000-yard season to begin his professional career, the efficiency of the output was down from his rookie campaign. His yards per carry average dropped by nearly a whole yard from 5.4 yards per carry in 2018 to 4.5 yards per carry last season. Meanwhile, Gordon’s output with the Los Angeles Chargers after returning from a hold out also suffered compared to his 2018 season. He averaged just 3.8 yards per carry in 12 games last season compared to 5.1 yards per carry in his Pro Bowl season in 2018.
However, if the two combined can recapture some of their peak form, the pairing could prove to be a big boost for the Denver offense.
“Ultimately, we have to score more points this year,” Elway said. “We’ve struggled on the offensive side the last two, three years, and so we’ve got to get better on that side. I think Melvin will be one of those key pieces to help us get better.”