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McDaniels' Mile High mistakes

Three ways the Denver coach has hurt the Broncos' rushing attack

Updated: November 22, 2010, 8:56 AM ET
By Bill Barnwell | Football Outsiders

When Josh McDaniels took over as Denver Broncos head coach in January 2009, he inherited what had been the league's second-best offense during the previous season. And while it had a passing attack that featured Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall, Denver's passing offense was actually just seventh in the league; despite starting six different running backs in the 2008 campaign, the Broncos actually had the league's best running attack per DVOA.

A season and a half into his tenure, McDaniels has changed everything imaginable about the Broncos' offense. The departures of Cutler and Marshall have done nothing to slow down the passing attack; the Broncos currently rank second in the league in passing DVOA. That league-leading rushing attack, though? It's a thing of the distant past. Only a successful performance against the Chiefs last week got them out of the basement, and the Broncos currently rank 31st in the league in rushing DVOA.

So what happened? Where did McDaniels go wrong? And has anyone else broken up an elite rushing attack as fast as McDaniels has? To answer all that, we need to recap McDaniels' three-point program to destroying the Broncos' running game.

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