With three primary backs playing, C.J. Anderson gets bulk of touches in Denver


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.

7 responses to “With three primary backs playing, C.J. Anderson gets bulk of touches in Denver

  1. As much as I like CJ, I can’t stop thinking that if Charles had been running the ball on the play that CJ broke loose on, Charles would have taken it to the house.

  2. Eventually they won’t be able to fight the temptation to run Charles like a horse and break him again. Phenomenal back but fragile and the next one will like be his final carry.

  3. As happy as I am to see Charles looking like Charles and as much as I’d like to see him taking more snaps, I have to admit that it’s probably for the best to keep him under 15 touches per game. He took a helmet to the knee on a carry yesterday and all I could do is cringe and think, oh no, not again. I don’t want the guy to go out on IR. I’d rather see him go out playing well, even in a diminished role.

  4. Charles is great. I love watching him play. Right up until he fumbles in a critical moment late in the game, giving the opposing team a chance for a come back win… like he did earlier this year against the Chargers, or a couple years ago as a Chief playing the Broncos. It’s in those moments I think I’d rather see the less flashy back with better ball security in the game.

  5. I too am a bit concerned about J.C., but after reconstructive/repair surgery he seems strong and getting more like the old Charles every week. He’s taken a couple of good pops to his knees the last few weeks, but it looks like he can rub some dirt in it and walk it off. I agree, however, that we need to limit his touches/snaps to keep him fresh for later in the season. IIRC, Anderson trnds to get beat up and tired toward the end of that season and with Charles on the team is to buy a new cord for the bell (bell cow, get it?).

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