The Denver Broncos are grateful that C.J. Anderson is on their roster. After losing their top two running backs, in Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman, to injury, the team faced some dire straights in the backfield.
Fortunately for them, Anderson came to the rescue. John Fox or Adam Gase would never admit this, but even they likely had no idea just how good the former undrafted rookie free agent out of California was.
Since week 10, when Anderson was plugged in as the starting RB for the Broncos, he has accumulated 654 total yards from scrimmage. He tops the NFL in that statistical category, since week 10.
Last week vs the Kansas City Chiefs, he rattled off 168 yards rushing and caught 2 balls for 17 yards and a TD. This has earned him the honor of being named the FedEx Ground Player of the Week.
On the season, Anderson has 536 yards rushing. If he keeps up at this frenetic pace, he will crack the 1,000-yard barrier, in only 8 games. That's dominance.
He has carried the ball 59 times over the last two weeks. That's a big workload. But it's been working. However, speaking to the concern that maybe the Broncos are relying too heavily on Anderson, offensive coordinator, Adam Gase, recently had this to say.
“Any game is different. We will see how it goes. We have success and we feel good about the guys that are behind him as well to be able to throw them in there and mix it up. He’s a big guy. He finds a way to not take that direct shot in the last two games especially. With the amount of carries he’s had, he’s probably only taking one shot where he didn’t see it and that was the one [Chiefs LB] Tamba [Hali] got him on. We missed that block and I don’t think he saw him off the edge, but for the most part he does a great job of putting himself in a great position of not taking that direct hit.”
Whether he's being over-worked or not, is up for debate. The bottom line is that featuring Anderson prominently in the offense is working and it's taking pressure of the team's 38-year old quarterback, Peyton Manning.
The Broncos won two Super Bowls, not by over-burdening their Hall of Fame QB (John Elway), but by putting weapons around him that enhanced his own dangerous capabilities. Right now, the Broncos are all about offensive balance. Don't expect that to change any time soon.