Denver Broncos | Kiszla vs. Gabriel: Is Javonte Williams the best starter at running back for the Broncos…

With the Broncos now facing a steep climb to make the NFL playoffs, is running back Javonte Williams the correct running back to lead the push? For all the offensive genius of coach Sean Payton, this team’s 21.9 points per game is no better than middle of the pack. Ball control is good. Three-and-out is bad. Should Denver consider a more dynamic back than Williams to be RB1? Please, tell me where I’m wrong.

I think he is, Kiz. But let’s not confuse that with the conversation about needing to get more dynamic. The question at this point is about where that’s going to come from down the stretch. Samaje Perine’s done good work in his role, and we’ve seen the tantalizing ability of rookie Jaleel McLaughlin. But I’m skeptical that the Broncos run game or, just as important, offense overall would be much more efficient if one of them were getting 15 carries per game and Williams had his role cut.

We all respect the work ethic and toughness Williams has displayed in his recovery from a serious knee injury. But how close do you think he really is to the get-outta-my-way mauler that we saw when Williams was a rookie? In 32 career starts, Williams has only gone over 100 yards rushing twice, and not once since December 2021. He’s averaging 3.82 yards per carry this season. When the Broncos let somebody else carry the rock, that average jumps significantly to 4.94.

Totally agreed, he’s decidedly not a home-run hitter at this point. I’d go so far as to say the position is a sneaky priority to address for Denver in the offseason. But right now, he’s the best mixed-down option they have, even though he’s been shaky catching the ball at times. Plus, he’s going to get you tough yards — think either of the other backs convert the gotta-have-it fourth-down run in the waning moments Sunday when contact’s made two yards in the backfield?

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