Jevont Williams was carrying Marlon Humphrey on his back for so long that he should have charged the man’s cab fare.
“I think (Humphrey) tried to go for the ball instead of try to tackle me,” the Broncos rookie later said of the 31-yard run for the ages against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday at Empower Field . “He patted me on the back, and I kept going.”
And going. And going. Five yards Ten. For nearly 18 yards, Williams acted as Humphrey’s personal Lyft driver, pulling the 6-foot, 197-pound defensive back to the Ravens’ 9-yard line.
This one from Baltimore followed by spinning during a scuffle and sliding through the other three’s collective arms before Humphrey decided to hop in. It was glorious. And, in the end, everything for naught.
“Javonte had a great performance, his first blow in four games,” coach Vic Fangio said after the Broncos lost 23-7. And (I) thought Melvin (Gordon) was going really well. But as the game progressed, it got pretty good there. “
Did the ravens “bottle” it? Or did Broncos offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur give it up too soon?
Williams and Gordon allowed just 79 on the field per competition in 4 weeks combined for 104 rushing yards on just 16 attempts against the Ravens run defense. Yet Williams touched the ball three times in the second half. And just once on the ground – for 10 yards and down for the first time.
“Yeah, (committing to the run) is important,” Fangio said. “Whenever you have balance, you’re a better offensive football team.
“And we weren’t really able to achieve much in the running game or the passing game, obviously. As a result, we didn’t last long and we had a bad day at third down and didn’t give us many chances (our offense).
The Broncos painted 1-for-7, 3-for-14 and 10 times a day in the first half on a third down chance. Take Williams’ 31-yard foray into beast mode, and Denver still averaged 4.2 yards per carry in first and second while quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was in the game.
Balance wasn’t the issue, coach. was execution. execution and commitment.
“I think it was a lack of focus,” Williams, who finished with 59 yards on 11 touches, said of the Broncos’ aggressive fade. “A lot of people, including me, (were) memorizing details, messing around on little things. And it all added together. It paid us the price of the game. “
Although the final snap count for the second quarter, with the game still in limbo, didn’t paint a pretty picture, either: nine throws. Carries four. Toss the final drive of the verse, during which Bridgewater got dinged, and it was six throws, four rushes.
In the first half, the Broncos made 25 plays in first and second. Thirteen of them were throwing, netting 38 yards per attempt, or 2.9 yards. There were other dozen runs, 77 yards, good for 6.42 yards per tote.
Obviously, the math was another little detail that somehow disappeared.
“Yeah, the run game in the NFL, it’s No. 1, it’s undefeated,” noted quarterback Drew Locke, who will need all the help he can get when he leads the offense at grouchy Pittsburgh (1-3) on Sunday.
“If you have a good run game, you can do a lot of things…, whenever you go into games – especially where both defenses are playing well and it’s about controlling the ball, staying on the ground and going down the third. If you can get to third-and-short instead of third-end-long and (third-end)-sevens-end -10, it gets harder for you. And that’s where The se run game helps.”
It also helps on the road. It helps in the Vipers’ dens like Heinz Field, where the Steelers are winless (0-2) this season. Pittsburgh conceded 131 runs on the ground in their loss at Green Bay on Sunday.
Curtain nowadays is made of very soft steel. If Shurmoor forgets about Williams next weekend the way he did against the Ravens, it’s going to be a long, lonely ride home.