Denver’s 16-10 win over the Raiders was fueled by the availability of their three top running backs — C.J. Anderson, Jamaal Charles, and Devontae Booker, who had been out with a wrist injury since the start of training camp. Anderson had 24 total touches (20 carries, four catches), Charles had six (five and one), and Booker had three rushing attempts.
On Monday, coach Vance Joseph praised each of them.
“All three guys played well yesterday,” Joseph said. “I thought C.J. played really well, breaking tackles, ripping off big runs. He was great in the pass game, and he was great with protections. Jamaal Charles looks more explosive each and every week. He’s played so he’s close to making some big plays for us. That’s been fun to watch Jamaal just burst through the line with great speed. [Booker] played well. He played solid yesterday running the football and in protections. On [tight end A.J.] Derby’s touchdown pass in high red zone, [Booker] made the key block to block the safety. For a young guy who hadn’t played much football this year to make that block was key for us there. I’ve been very impressed with Jamaal and C.J. Obviously having [Booker] back that just makes us better there.
Anderson generated 95 yards on 20 carries. Charles churned up 33 yards, giving him an average of 6.6 yards per attempt. Booker’s three carries resulted in 14 yards.
With injuries inevitable, it helps the Broncos to have three guys who can get it done. Ideally for the team, all three will be available as much as possible. But if one gets injured, they’ll still have the other two.
As far as the team is concerned, the rushing attack is working. They gained 143 yards on the ground, averaging 4.5 yards per try.