Plenty has gone right for the Broncos this season, but not everything’s gone right for Willis McGahee.
The running back has fumbled five times on 160 carries this season, the most of any season in his career and more than any other running back in the NFL so far this year. The Broncos have lost four of those fumbles, including two in the last three weeks. McGahee’s issue holding onto the ball isn’t going to cost him any work at this point, however.
“We’re going to keep giving him the ball and he’s got to protect it,” offensive coordinator Mike McCoy said, via the Denver Post.
The Broncos scored 70 points in those two recent games against the Saints and Panthers, so it’s not like McGahee’s fumbles are killing the team. That said, life is obviously easier if you don’t turn the ball over and it would be nice for the Broncos if McGahee slowed down his pace. The offense also hasn’t made much use of other running backs so it’s unlikely that they would feel comfortable turning the running game over to Ronnie Hillman, Lance Ball and/or Knowshon Moreno.
The Broncos have lost 12 fumbles overall this season, which is more than anyone but the Chiefs. Whether or not you recover a fumble has a lot to do with unpredictable bounces, but holding ontot he ball is certainly something players have more control over. Shaping up that part of the game would eliminate of the remaining visible weaknesses with the team.