NFL Power Rankings: 12. Denver Broncos
2022 rushing yards rank: 21st
2022 yards per carry rank: 17th
The Broncos might be the trickiest team to rank.
In 2021, Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon became the second duo in franchise history to rush for 900+ yards each, and the Broncos finished 10th in the NFL in yards per carry.
They seemed primed to build on that momentum in 2022. Unfortunately, nothing went according to plan. Williams suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 4. The Broncos elected to cut Gordon after he fumbles five times in 10 games. Left tackle Garett Bolles suffered a broken leg in Week 5 and missed the remainder of the season.
This season, Williams and Bolles should return to the lineup. In addition, the front office made a big move, signing offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey to a five-year, $87.5 million deal. Since 2018, McGlinchey has posted a PFF run block grade of 85.4, which is in the top 10 among offensive tackles. Veteran running back Samaje Perine will offer some depth behind Williams, as well. Last season, he recorded 681 scrimmage yards with the Bengals.
Russell Wilson is a player to watch. In 2022, he carried the ball 55 times, which was the second-lowest single-season mark of his career. The 34-year-old still flashed mobility, averaging 5.0 yards per carry. Will Wilson show an increased willingness to run the football? I’m not counting on it, but it would be a pleasant surprise.
As long as Williams stays healthy, the Broncos’ run game appears destined to rebound in 2023.