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Week 1 vs. CIN
Rushing: 8 / 19 / 0
Moreno looked tentative running the football in his first action back since suffering a knee injury in the preseason. It seemed like he was thinking about his knee with every cut, and thus didn't have as much burst as starting running back Correll Buckhalter. His longest carry of the day was 8 yards, and the rookie went down too easily after contact --- perhaps to protect himself from further injury. The Broncos went away from Buckhalter to give Moreno opportunity, but he didn't produce like many expected. When he gets more confidence in his knee, perhaps we'll see the quick, agile, and decisive back that we saw at Georgia.
Week 2 vs. CLE
Rushing: 17 / 75 / 0
Receiving: 2 / 22 / 0 on 2 targets
Moreno did not look tentative running the football, and played like the running back we saw at the University of Georgia. His footwork was very good between the tackles, and it seemed like he was not thinking about the knee that was injured in the preseason. Moreno was able to see cutback lanes, and get to them in a hurry. The Broncos made a concerted effort to get him the ball consistently so he could get into a rhythm. He was able to get skinny when running between the tackles, and looked good using his arms to push defenders aside. Moreno looked more explosive, and timed his burst very well. He would wait patiently for a seam to open up, and then he would accelerate through it quickly. Moreno was also much more decisive than he was in week one. This helped him pick up positive yardage after contact and consistently chew up yardage. The rookie was very fired up to be playing his first game at Invesco Field, and even when teammate Tony Scheffler scored on a short pass, Moreno was celebrating like he scored the touchdown. Moreno was a little dinged up in the second half, but returned shortly thereafter and showed no ill effects. What was perhaps most impressive was the way that Moreno fought for each and every yard on Sunday. "Never die easy" must be his motto because he didn't go down easy, would try and fight and spin after contact.
Week 3 vs. OAK
Rushing: 21 / 90 / 1
Moreno was fired up before the game, and he had to be separated from the Raiders before the game during warmups. Despite a groin injury, Moreno ran hot all day. He was jump cutting when a hole would open up and was on top of the defense in a hurry. Moreno kept his legs churning after contact, and was fighting for every yard possible on every play. He would even twist, spin, and turn to advance the football. It was his spin move (while in the grasp of a defender) that got him into the endzone, and he had to stretch the football out to break the plane of the goalline.
Week 4 vs. DAL
Rushing: 14 / 65 / 0
Receiving: 2 / 11 / 1 on 2 targets
Moreno was splitting time to start the game, and scored on a short pass in the second quarter. The ball went right through OLB Anthony Spencer's hands, and the rookie back snagged it and turned upfield for six. At the beginning of the third quarter the Broncos received the kickoff and came out on offense in a tight 10-7 game. Moreno promptly fumbled the football, and it was recovered by the Cowboys defense on the Broncos 27-yard line. The rookie back was very upset with himself, but maintained his mental focus and came back with a vengeance. The team leaned on Knowshon Moreno late in the game after Correll Buckhalter went out with an ankle injury. At one point in the game Moreno had four straight carries in a row.
Week 5 vs. NE
Rushing: 21 / 88 / 0
Receiving: 4 / 36 / 0 on 5 targets
The Broncos started the day running their Wild Horses offense, with Moreno running the show. During training camp the Broncos worked out of this formation, but it was veteran Correll Buckhalter that lined up as the Wildcat QB. Moreno did a good job of reading the defense out of this formation, and his hard charging style is perfect for picking up yards between the tackles. Moreno did a good job of keeping his feet moving after contact, and would spin and push for as many yards as he possible could each time he ran the football. He showed great patience as a receiver out of the backfield, and picked up big yardage on a screen pass when the Broncos were driving late in the fourth quarter. Moreno did get a little careless with the football, but when the game was on the line he was covering up the rock with both hands
Week 6 vs. SD
Rushing: 18 / 44 / 0
Receiving: 1 / -1 / 0 on 2 targets
Moreno was running hard against a defense geared to stop him, and picked up most of his yards up the middle. As we've seen most all year, Moreno ran hot and would fight for every yard possible on a play. He was very determined, running with good field vision, but when a hole wasn't there he would just lower his head and try to grind out a couple of yards instead of hesitating and getting tackled for a loss. Moreno seemed to get banged up after a play where he ran into the pile and was pushed back by several defenders. He didn't miss much time, but when he was back in the game he didn't seem to be as effective.
Week 8 vs. BAL
Rushing: 10 / 39 / 1
Receiving: 2 / -4 / 0 on 2 targets
Early in his NFL career Knowshon Moreno has developed a slight reputation as a fumbler, and the Baltimore Ravens made him cough up the football again on Sunday. With less than 5 minutes left in the 1st quarter Kyle Orton hit Moreno on a screen pass as the Broncos were trying to slow down the fierce Ravens pass rush. Veteran safety Ed Reed was all over the play and came crashing in on the running back. With the force of Mack Truck, Reed smashed into Moreno and caused him to fumble the ball. It wasn't all bad for Knowshon Moreno. He did run with good footwork, and tried to match the Ravens physicality by using his stiff arm effectively when defenders were near.
Week 9 vs. PIT
Rushing: 5 / 3 / 0
Receiving: 0 / 0 / 0 on 2 targets
Moreno didn't have a good night, and not only because the Steelers are a tough team to run against. Moreno would slip down when trying to make a cut, and the frustrations didn't stop there for the rookie. Known at being adept in pass protection, it was an aspect that Moreno struggled with Monday night. On one occasion the Steelers brought pressure right up the middle at the rookie, and he tried to cut block the defender. Keyaron Fox was able to leap over Moreno and disrupt the play. A back should always face up a defender when taking on a blitzer up the middle. He didn't fumble the football, but his reputation as a fumbler had the Steelers trying to strip the football every time Moreno had it in his hands.
Week 10 vs. WAS
Rushing: 18 / 97 / 0
Receiving: 2 / 7 / 0 on 5 targets
Moreno was running very hard against the Redskins to start the game, and opened up the contest with a big 28-yard run. On that play Moreno showed good patience and vision in the open field. Early in the game the holes were there for Moreno and he was taking advantage of them. He was also picking up yards after contact because he would spin, slide, and push past tacklers. The holes closed up in the second half with Chris Simms in the game. The Redskins were stacking the line of scrimmage and daring Simms to beat them. Moreno still had a couple of nice runs where he had to create his own space by juking defenders that had broken through into the backfield. Just like Brandon Marshall, a bigger day was there for Moreno but Orton's injury killed the offensive rhythm the Broncos had gotten into.
Week 11 vs. SD
Rushing: 10 / 80 / 0
Receiving: 1 / 6 / 0 on 1 targets
He opened the game well enough, helping the team steadily move downfield with several nice runs. That drive, however, ended in disaster when Chris Simms fumbled the ball away to San Diego in the red zone. Moreno got his own opportunity to punch the ball in later, but instead he fumbled one away himself right at the doorstep of the end zone. He was fighting through the defense and trying to stretch the ball over the goal line when the ball was jarred loose by his own lineman lying on the ground. The call was reviewed and the original call of a fumble was upheld, though in fairness to Moreno none of the replays conclusively showed that he fumbled before getting in. It was one of those situations where the original call was going to be upheld no matter what, because none of the replays really showed anything. If anything, the replays seemed to suggest that he was in fact in, but that's not how it was ruled on the field. CBS cameras later showed a replay of a heated exchange between Moreno and WR Brandon Marshall, who was seemingly upset over the fumble. At one point during the exchange, Marshall got in the young back's face, and was shoved away. Moreno later broke a huge run up the sideline on third and short. Once he was past the first few defenders, he was into the back level of the defense. He probably would've scored on that play, but S Eric Weddle made a nice open field tackle.
Week 12 vs. NYG
Rushing: 19 / 88 / 1
Receiving: 2 / 19 / 0 on 3 targets
Rookie Knowshon Moreno ran the ball well against the Giants in Week 12, getting to the second level quickly and gaining yardage in chunks at a time. Moreno had seven runs for over 10 yards at a time but lost two of them due to holding penalties. He found the end zone in the second quarter on a two-yard plunge and continued the ground attack in the second half, often gaining the edge around the offensive line and racking up big gains. Moreno left the game in the fourth quarter with either a hand or shoulder injury but did return to the field on the next series. Expect Moreno to see an increased workload going forward as he is asserting himself as the top rusher for Denver.
Week 13 vs. KC
Rushing: 21 / 86 / 2
Moreno received a bulk of the workload against the Chiefs, and he did not disappoint. He ran with great authority between the tackles, and was constantly slashing for extra yardage once he reached the second level of the defense. Even when the Chiefs seemed to have him bottled up in the backfield he would find a way to spin out of the grasp of a tackler and pick up a couple of yards. Moreno really wore down the Chiefs defense, and seems to be getting stronger as the season goes along. His first touchdown was a plunge up the middle, but his second touchdown was a thing of beauty. On a fourth down and two yards to go the Broncos ran to the left side behind Ryan Clady. Moreno found himself in the clear but showed an extra little burst to get into the end zone untouched from eighteen yards out. Denver is averaging around 190 yards rushing per game the last two weeks, and their trust in Knowshon Moreno continues to grow as we enter the stretch run of the season.
Week 14 vs. IND
Rushing: 23 / 63 / 0
Receiving: 3 / 13 / 0 on 4 targets
Knowshon Moreno found little running room against a speedy Colts defense. Without Correll Buckhalter to spell him, the rookie seemed to wear down as the game went on. Moreno failed to convert on several short yardage plays, but often was met in the backfield by at least 3 Colts defenders. When he did have a hole Moreno would spend too much time dancing which allowed the speed of the Colts defense to get to him in a hurry. He was taking a beating on some of his carries, and seemed to be banged up and tired as the Broncos were trying to mount a comeback. The biggest mistake Moreno made on the day was missing on a read in pass protection, which allowed linebacker Gary Brackett to rush up the "A" gap and sack Kyle Orton.
Week 15 vs. OAK
Rushing: 19 / 42 / 0
Receiving: 3 / 39 / 0 on 7 targets
Knowshon Moreno showed little patience when running against a motivated Raiders defense on Sunday. Once again the rookie seemed to be running a little out of control, and was dancing too much in the backfield. When he did gain positive yardage a simple arm tackle would most often bring him down. It seems like Moreno is looking for a big play on every carry instead of simply lowering his head and taking what the defense gives him. He averaged barely over 2 yards per carry against a team that had been getting gashed on the ground all season long. The rookie again struggled in pass protection, and was failing to chip oncoming rushers which lead to more pressure for his quarterback Kyle Orton. Moreno has the confidence of his head coach, but the fan base is quickly starting to question whether or not he was worth the #12 overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft.
Week 16 vs. PHI
Rushing: 9 / 18 / 0
Receiving: 3 / 17 / 1 on 3 targets
Knowshon Moreno struggled to pick up much yardage on the ground as the Eagles swarmed the Denver running attack in Week 16. Only a short pass where Moreno wriggled between defenders for a third quarter touchdown saved his underwhelming fantasy day. He gets one more shot next week to improve in a great matchup against the Chiefs.
Week 17 vs. KC
Rushing: 14 / 50 / 2
Receiving: 3 / 48 / 0 on 3 targets
Moreno ran hard and scored a couple of times against Kansas City, but the short yardage woes continued for the Denver Broncos. A bigger day was there for Moreno, but he seemed to be too impatient behind the line of scrimmage and did not properly allow his blocks to develop. Moreno continued to run out of control, and when he would try to make a move he would sometimes slip down and fall. He didn't gain enough yards in this game to go over the 1,000 yard mark for the season, and has plenty to work on in the offseason.