The coaches likely hoped it would have happened a different way, but Kapri Bibbs made a huge play in Week 9 — and it didn't come on a hand-off.
It came on a screen pass late in the fourth quarter of the Denver Broncos 30-20 loss to the Oakland Raiders. Trevor Siemian dropped back, letting the Oakland pass rush come to him, before dumping it off to Bibbs, who proceeded to break off one of the most remarkable offensive plays in recent Broncos history.
Bibbs bobbed and weaved, never giving up on his objective of crossing the goal-line, taking it all the way to the house for a 69-yard score. After several weeks of offensive ineptitude, Gary Kubiak knows his team will take all the help they can get, no matter where it comes from.
With C.J. Anderson on injured reserve, the onus has fallen on Devontae Booker and Bibbs to step up. Both Booker and Bibbs have struggled behind Denver's inconsistent offensive line, and poor play-calling. The two young running backs combined for 33 rushing yards on 12 carries in Oakland.
The big difference? Booker is a rookie fourth round pick, while Bibbs is a former college free agent out of Colorado State. Bibbs is now in his third year with the Broncos and finally made the 53-man roster to open the season.
“I think we’re gaining confidence in him," Kubiak said Monday. "Booker is not doing anything wrong. We have to get him some room. He’s got 12 carries for 2.2, so we have to find somebody some room, whoever is in there. Kapri came in and made big play on third and short, made a big run for us. He almost busted that out of there. Those are our two guys here down the stretch. They have to play well and we have to trust both of them to play.”
http://www.scout.com/nfl/broncos/story/1725598-takeaways-from-the-film-w... Bibbs needed that big play in more ways than one. He showed some bad decision making returning kicks in Oakland, failing to get to the 20-yard line multiple times, costing the embattled Broncos offense precious yards and field position. Teams now start at the 25-yard line on touchbacks.
If anything, Bibbs' decision making is a sign that he is literally champing at the bit to make an impact.
“I like Kapri’s aggressiveness," Kubiak said. "Obviously there is a plan in place. We have to execute that plan. The thing I like about Kapri is that he is out there trying to make plays last night and he did. He made a big play. We struggled with our drive starts. It was very poor. I think we were inside the 15 the first three or four possessions and then inside our own one twice. That’s very tough to overcome.”
All signs point to the Broncos developing a little more faith in Bibbs. The coaches don't have the prerogative of ignoring a hot hand, with how disjointed the offense has been this year.
“It feels great knowing that your coaches have confidence in you and want to give you more opportunities to play in a game," Bibbs said. "For a player, that’s all you can really ask for—more opportunities and more chances to get the ball in your hand. That’s why they make me do kickoff return so I can get a chance to get the ball in my hands early so I can get going faster.”
It'll be interesting to see if Bibbs' role changes this week in the Big Easy, when the Broncos travel to take on the New Orleans Saints.
Chad Jensen is the Publisher of Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @ChadNJensen.
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