RB C.J. Anderson - Detroit Lions
|5-8, 224||Born: 2-10-1991||College: California||Drafted: ---|
2018 Week 1 vs DAL (7 / 35 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
C.J. Anderson played second fiddle to Christian McCaffrey throughout, but gave the coaching staff plenty to ponder. The fleet of foot Anderson showed terrific patience, vision and burst to pick up small chunks of yardage that helped to wear the Cowboys down. Anderson spotted cutbacks and lapses by Dallas quickly and exploited them. His best carry was a beautiful red zone run; bending it left initially, Anderson spotted a crease between center and right guard, sidestepping into and then through the gap, weaving his way past would-be tacklers and unfortunately getting tackled at the one-yard line.
2018 Week 2 vs ATL (3 / 31 / 0 rush, 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
C.J. Anderson was almost a non-factor in this contest, with an unfavourable game script putting his style of play on ice. The Panthers started off the game with Anderson as the lone back and Christian McCaffrey flanked out wide, handing it to the former Bronco for a nice 23-yard scamper behind a pulling guard. After that point, however, Anderson was left to feed off scraps as McCaffrey continued to boss the backfield touches. Late in the game, Anderson came in to spell McCaffrey and committed a crucial error, a pass caroming off his hands on a simple check down and landing in the hands of a grateful Atlanta defender.
2018 Week 3 vs CIN (2 / 9 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 24 / 1 rec)
C.J. Anderson played second fiddle to the irrepressible Christian McCaffrey but managed to take advantage of all the defensive attention on his backfield mate. With both backs flanking Newton in the shotgun, McCaffrey veered out to the right flat, forcing a reaction from Cincinnati's defenders. Meanwhile, Anderson sneaked out to the left, caught a lofted pass from Newton and trucked upfield behind some excellent blocks from his offensive linemen. Anderson waltzed into the end zone for the easy score. Otherwise, Anderson was only on the field for two more snaps and contributed little.
2018 Week 5 vs NYG (4 / 9 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
C.J. Anderson played a distant second fiddle to Christian McCaffrey in this game, getting just a handful of carries. Unable to get into a rhythm, Anderson was stuffed on his totes in the second half, as the Giants did well to repel Carolina's rushing attack.
2018 Week 8 vs BAL (5 / 20 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
C.J. Anderson got rotated in on a few snaps, including some that featured both he and Christian McCaffrey in the backfield at the same time. Mostly Anderson was run between the tackles, hard-charging but showing little burst. The Ravens remained discipline with their tackling all game, with Anderson unable to break through for longer chunks.
2018 Week 9 vs TB (1 / 1 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
C.J. Anderson was the forgotten man once more in the Panthers offense, getting just one carry and featuring little in the expansive attack the team is relying on.
2018 Week 10 vs PIT (2 / -1 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
It wasn't until the fourth quarter with the game well out of hand that C.J. Anderson got his first touch of the ball, a reminder of how far down the pecking order he is in the offense. After a handful of carries, the Panthers were content to get out of Pittsburgh with their tails firmly tucked between their legs. Anderson was released over the weekend and he didn't seem too broken up about it.
2018 Week 16 vs ARI (20 / 167 / 1 rush, 3 / 1 / -5 / 0 rec)
With both Todd Gurley and Malcolm Brown out, the Rams turned the load over to recently-signed CJ Anderson. Rookie John Kelly did get plenty of work, Anderson didn't do anything fancy, just running the Rams' staple outside zone concept. He was decisive with his cuts and was very physical through contact. He clearly lacks a top gear, but he's still very capable of sifting through traffic then squaring up and running behind his pads when a defender tries to make a tackle. His comfort with these run concepts is very apparent after all the time he spent in Denver. The Rams did try to go to the Outside Zone/Screen a few times, but the Cardinals swarmed all over it and the Rams had no success with it. That's probably the most concerning issue to take from this game.
2018 Week 17 vs SF (23 / 132 / 1 rush, 3 / 3 / 22 / 0 rec)
CJ Anderson doesn't do anything fancy. He just runs outside zone over and over for positive yardage. He could have finished with an additional touchdown, but got stopped at the one-yard line on the Rams' first drive (following Talib's fumble recovery). The 49ers turned it over again deep in their own territory on the next drive, and this time Anderson easily punched it in to go up 14-0 not even five minutes into the game. Anderson also got some targets and made positive contributions in the receiving game, which was a huge step up over last week - where the Rams barely threw to their backs and were unsuccessful when they did.
2018 Week 19 vs DAL (23 / 123 / 2 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
His first carry was a beautifully schemed Fake Jet Sweep/Inside Zone from shotgun that the Rams haven't really shown this season. Anderson got to the second level untouched, popping off for a total of 12 yards on his first touch. Anderson seemingly got 8-12 yards per touch, grinding through the Dallas front. He was the first Ram in the game to convert a redzone appearance into a touchdown, gaining the final 15 yards of the Rams' third drive on his own up the middle and punching it in for a one-yard score. The Rams decided to keep Gurley on the sideline and ride CJ Anderson to close the game out throughout the second half. Like he did on the first scoring drive, Anderson carried the Rams down the field, picking up 7-8 yards on seemingly almost every carry. After Goff failed to convert for a score on 3rd and goal from the 1 yard line, Anderson punched it in on 4th down for a game-extending score. When the Rams got the ball back, he took it a step further by converting for a first down on the ground after forcing Dallas to use their final timeouts.
2018 Week 20 vs NO (16 / 44 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 5 / 0 rec)
Anderson entered the game on the third offensive drive for Los Angeles. He took his first carry for a 5-yard gain and secured a 5-yard checkdown on the next play, so by nature of hanging onto the ball and falling forward, he was already making more positive contributions that Gurley. After Gurley's second awful drop, the Rams mostly rode Anderson for the remainder of the game. He converted the first third down of the contest for the Rams on a 3rd and 3 inside run with seven minutes remaining in the first half. The Rams had gone 0-4 on 3rd down previously. He received most of the snaps for the Rams for the rest of the game. A function of that was that the Rams' successful, long drives tended to come from when they ran hurry-up and the game at the line.
2017 Week 1 vs LAC (20 / 81 / 0 rush, 3 / 1 / 7 / 0 rec)
Anderson got the start and shared time in the backfield with Jamaal Charles. The duo proved to be an effective 1-2 punch, posting nearly identical YPC(Anderson-4.1, Charles 4.0). Anderson got most of the tough carries between the tackles, toting the ball 20 times to Charles' 10. Anderson bounced a carry outside off left tackle and juked a defender out of his shoes midway through the 2nd quarter for a big gain. He was stuffed on a 1st and goal carry inside the 1 yard line later in the drive. Anderson had a touchdown run up the middle in the third quarter that was called back for an illegal offensive shift. He caught 1 of 3 targets for a gain of 7.
2017 Week 2 vs DAL (25 / 118 / 1 rush, 3 / 3 / 36 / 1 rec)
Anderson dominated the Dallas defense in week 2, piling up 118 yards rushing and scoring on the ground and through the air. His longest run of the day was a magnificent 28 yard gallop in the 1st quarter that really showcased his physicality. He took the handoff right, broke an arm tackle, lowered his shoulder and ran over a second defender, showed off a nimble spin move, and then used a stiff arm to ward off a would-be tackler as he piled up yards down the sideline. His rushing touchdown showed some serious burst as he took a 3rd quarter carry 23 yards off left guard, dodging a couple of tacklers and outrunning the safety up the left sideline for the pylon. Anderson was heavily involved in the passing game, catching his first target for a decent gain on an out route in the 1st quarter. He scored on a stick route to the right side of the formation late in the 2nd quarter, shaking his defender before catching the pass and plowing up the middle of the field to the end zone. Anderson picked up a 1st down on 3rd and 11 with a 3rd quarter screen pass. He added 36 receiving yards to his 118 rushing for the day.
2017 Week 3 vs BUF (8 / 36 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 7 / 0 rec)
Anderson split time with Charles, who actually led the team in carries (Charles' 9 to Anderson's 8). Anderson ripped off an impressive 32 yard run right up the middle in the 2nd quarter, and also drew an unnecessary roughness penalty when he was hit out of bounds at the end of the play, tacking on 15 more yards. The rest of his carries were modest, ending the game with 36 yards total on the ground. Anderson caught a swing pass out of the backfield for a short gain early in the 1st quarter, and another later in the 3rd for a total of 7 yards on 2 targets.
2017 Week 4 vs OAK (20 / 95 / 0 rush, 4 / 4 / 17 / 0 rec)
Anderson started out slow, but heated up after halftime. Early in the 3rd quarter he broke a run off right tackle and took off down the right sideline for a 40 yard gain, the longest of the night. Denver leaned on Anderson in the 3rd and 4th quarter, and he tallied 20 carries for 95 yards on the ground. Anderson caught all 4 of his targets, but gathered only 17 yards on the dumpoff passes.
2017 Week 6 vs NYG (9 / 17 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Anderson was not a factor as the Giants shut the run game down early and jumped out to an early lead. Denver abandoned the run game completely by the 2nd half and Anderson lost snaps to Devontae Booker, who was heavily involved in the passing game. Anderson was stuffed on a 4th and 1 attempt late in the 4th quarter, one of his few carries of the 2nd half. Anderson did not draw any targets in the passing game.
2017 Week 7 vs LAC (10 / 44 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / 17 / 0 rec)
Anderson was ineffective in the 1st half, logging a few carries for minimal yardage behind Denver's ailing offensive line. He broke his longest run of the day, an 11 yard carry off left tackle from a 4 WR set late in the 3rd quarter. He also pulled off two more 9 yard runs later that drive(One a conversion on 3rd and 4), accounting for most of his rushing yards for the day. Denver's passing game struggle mightily, with Charles and Booker(4 each) drawing most of the RB targets. Anderson collected 1 of 2 for 17 yards.
2017 Week 8 vs KC (15 / 78 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 7 / 0 rec)
Anderson led the Denver rushing attack in yards again, grinding hard throughout the contest. Denver had success moving the ball in the run game, they just couldn't stick to it after committing early turnovers and falling behind. Anderson got the start but conceded some work to Charles and Booker(14 combined carries to Anderson's 15) with Booker getting the majority of red zone touches in week 8. Anderson ripped off consecutive runs of 11 yards in the 3rd quarter, setting up a play action pass that Siemian checked down to Anderson for another gain of 7 yards. Anderson broke a 15 yard run late in the 3rd quarter that was nullified by a holding penalty.
2017 Week 9 vs PHI (9 / 13 / 0 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Anderson was once again the first back out of the stable, but the Denver run game continues to be completely inneffective. Anderson had a few good carries on the first drive of the game, racking up 19 yards on the series. He then watched his yardage dwindle as every carry afterwards went for a loss or no gain. Denver turned to Charles and Booker by the end of the 1st quarter as Philly raced out to a 17-3 lead, forcing the Broncos to pass. Anderson carried the ball twice inside the Philadelphia 10 yard line late in the 2nd, both for a loss. He carried the ball a few more times in the 2nd half, but Booker handled the majority of work after halftime. Anderson dropped his only target, a checkdown pass at the end of the 1st half.
2017 Week 10 vs NE (10 / 54 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 1 / 0 rec)
The Denver backfield situation continues to evolve into a three-way committee. Anderson was the most effective on a per-carry average. Anderson received 10 carries, and Charles and Booker 8 each. Anderson broke a 21 yard run right up the middle late in the 1st quarter, his longest carry of the day. Anderson punched the ball into the end zone in the 3rd quarter after cutting a run back left and racing a linebacker to the pylon, but the play was negated by a holding penalty on the offensive line. Anderson caught a short out route in the 2nd quarter, his only target of the day.
2017 Week 11 vs CIN (13 / 37 / 1 rush, 3 / 2 / 19 / 0 rec)
Anderson was slightly out-snapped and out-touched by Devontae Booker for the first time this season. He carried the ball 13 times to Booker's 14, though Anderson did get the lone rushing touchdown. He set himself up for his 3 yard scoring plunge in the 1st quarter with a tackle-breaking 7 yard run right up the middle on the previous play. Booker, however, had a better per-carry average and was a more effective receiver. Anderson leaked out of the backfield and caught a checkdown pass in the 2nd quarter, barreling down the field after the catch for extra yardage. He hauled in a swing route out of the backfield at the end of the 1st half, running up the sideline and stepping out of bounds to stop the clock for the field goal unit just before halftime. Anderson lost a fumble in the 4th quarter when a diving defender placed his helmet squarely on the ball while tackling him.
2017 Week 12 vs OAK (5 / 12 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Anderson started the game and logged all of his five carries in the first half, falling out of the game plan as the Broncos feel behind. Denver's running game continues to contribute nothing to the offense(QB Lynch led the team in rushing). Denver gave Devontae Booker the only goal-line carry in the 2nd quarter. Booker started the second half in the backfield with Charles coming in for occasional relief, with no sign of Anderson. Anderson was not targeted in the passing game.
2017 Week 13 vs MIA (15 / 67 / 0 rush, 7 / 4 / 43 / 0 rec)
Anderson was the only Denver player to piece together a decent fantasy performance, leading the Broncos in rushing and receiving in a losing effort. He out-touched Charles(8) and Booker(3) with 19 total touches. Anderson started out strong with carries of 7, 7, and 8 yards on the Broncos first three offensive snaps. Anderson hauled in an out route and turned it up the left sideline for a big gain early in the 3rd quarter. He leaked out of the backfield and caught a check down pass to convert 3rd and 10 early in the 4th quarter. Anderson caught another check down later in the drive for a short gain. Despite a recent trend of Devontae Booker taking over in the 2nd half of their losing efforts, the Broncos stuck with Anderson, with Charles coming in for occasional relief.
2017 Week 14 vs NYJ (22 / 48 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 25 / 0 rec)
Anderson dominated the touches in the Denver backfield again, but could only muster a 2.4 ypc average with his 22 totes. He bulled his way up the middle for a 7 yard gain in the 3rd quarter, his longest on the ground. Anderson leaked out of the backfield into the left flat for a nice catch-and-run late in the 2nd quarter that barely missed converting 3rd and 13. He nearly scored on the same passing play later in the 3rd quarter, but was ruled down inches from the goal line. Anderson was then stuffed on two consecutive rushing attempts from inside the 1 yard line, until fullback Andy Janovich pounded the ball in on 3rd and goal.
2017 Week 15 vs IND (30 / 158 / 0 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
The Broncos opened the game up with fullback Janovich leading the way for Anderson, who carried the ball for a few short gains before ripping a 14 yard run into Colts territory. Anderson had success up the middle all night, consistently carrying the ball several yards past the line of scrimmage before contact. The beleaguered Colts defense struggled to bring Anderson down at first contact, and Osweiler was able to capitalize on Anderson's success with great play-action passing. The Broncos pounded away with 2TE formations and plenty of Janovich's lead blocking. Anderson was only targeted once, but still dominated backfield touches with 30 carries.
2017 Week 16 vs WAS (16 / 88 / 1 rush, 9 / 7 / 45 / 0 rec)
Anderson came out of the gate strong, constantly moving the chains with runs of five or more yards. He hauled in his first target, a short checkdown pass on the Broncos' second offensive drive. Anderson took a carry off right tackle and bounced it outside for an 18 yard pickup early in the 2nd quarter, then ripped his longest run of the day(21 yards) right up the middle on the next drive. Osweiler peppered Anderson and Booker with checkdowns, screens, and swing routes from the backfield as the Denver passing game struggled downfield. Anderson ran a halfback screen out of bounds at the end of the first half for a short gain. Osweiler found Anderson on a swing route for a minimal gain early in the 4th, then a shallow crossing route for a similar gain. Anderson's prettiest reception was a straight shot down the seam late in the 4th where Osweiler hit him in stride for a 14 yard gain. Anderson scored a few plays later on a 5 yard run right up the middle, then scored the two-point conversion on a short out route.
2017 Week 17 vs KC (18 / 61 / 0 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Anderson had a slow day, piling up 61 yards on 18 carries as the Broncos' primary option on the ground. He surpassed the 1,000 yard rushing mark on the season for the first time in his career with a 10 yard carry off left tackle in the 4th quarter. Anderson was not targeted in the passing game.
2016 Week 1 vs CAR (20 / 92 / 1 rush, 5 / 4 / 47 / 1 rec)
Anderson was the bellcow back and centerpiece for the Denver offense, running hard and catching the ball well out of the backfield. He took his first carry of the game right up the middle and made a nice cutback to an open lane on the right for a first down gain and some change. He had another strong carry on the next play before being spelled by rookie Booker, who promptly fumbled the ball on his first carry. After that, the Broncos offense primarily featured Anderson for the rest of the game. Anderson followed a nice lead block by fullback Janovich to his longest run of the night, a 28 yard scamper in the 2nd quarter. Anderson blasted his way to a first down on 4th and inches during Denver's last scoring drive in the 4th quarter, then followed up with a 2 yard touchdown plunge a couple of plays later for the go-ahead score. Anderson reeled in his first reception on the Broncos' second offensive drive, splitting out of the backfield to the right of the tackle and catching the ball on an out route. The big back showed off his nimble feet as he danced down the sideline and dodged a couple of tackles on the way to a big gain. Anderson made several more catches out of the backfield, and claimed the team's biggest passing gain on a well-executed halfback screen at the beginning of the 4th quarter for a 25 yard touchdown.
2016 Week 2 vs IND (20 / 74 / 1 rush, 5 / 3 / 19 / 0 rec)
Anderson again saw the majority of carries for the Broncos offense, with rookie Booker stepping in occasionally to rest him. Anderson's touchdown run was easy work. Thomas drew a pass interference call to set the offense up inside the red zone, then rookie Booker carried the ball down to the 4 yard line. The Broncos called Anderson's number on the next play, and he walked into the end zone behind some phenomenal blocking by the Denver O-line and receivers. Anderson kept running hard throughout the game. He broke his longest run, 13 yards, with less than 2 minutes left to play in the 4th quarter. Anderson had a beautiful reception out of the backfield late in the 2nd quarter. Facing 3rd and 10 with 45 seconds left to play in the half, Siemian looked to Anderson out of the backfield, but threw the pass behind him. Anderson snagged the ball one-handed, flashed a brilliant spin move to juke a defender, and picked up the 1st down yardage and some extra before running out of bounds. Anderson's per-carry average(3.7) for the day wasn't great, but he did a good job of running hard and picking up the short yardage situations that the Broncos needed to continue drives. He also added 19 yards receiving on 3 catches.
2016 Week 3 vs CIN (14 / 37 / 0 rush, 4 / 1 / 4 / 0 rec)
Anderson had a couple of decent runs, but the Denver run game was a non-factor in week 3. Instead, the team turned to big plays in the passing game to beat the Bengals. Anderson only got 14 attempts, which was still the majority of Broncos carries (4 for Booker, 1 for Janovich and Norwood). It was also a slow day for Anderson in the passing game. He managed 1 catch for 4 yards on 4 targets.
2016 Week 4 vs TB (19 / 49 / 1 rush, 1 / 1 / 3 / 0 rec)
Anderson and the other Broncos backs had a slow day on the ground. Anderson netted 49 yards on 19 carries but saved his day with a short touchdown plunge in the 2nd quarter. Jordan Taylor drew a pass interference flag in the end zone, setting the Broncos up on the 1 yard line before Anderson dove in for the score. Anderson picked up his biggest gain of the day, 12 yards, on a delayed handoff late in the 2nd quarter. The play occurred when Denver was backed up into their own red zone on 3rd and long after a couple of penalties. Anderson ripped off a 22 yard run after the weather delay in the 4th quarter, but the play was called back because of an illegal shift penalty. Anderson secured his only target for a short gain of 3 yards.
2016 Week 5 vs ATL (11 / 41 / 0 rush, 4 / 3 / 21 / 0 rec)
Anderson had 41 yards on 11 carries and was generally terrible in short yardage situations, failing to convert several 3rd and short situations, but he's not the only one to blame. The Denver offensive line posted a pretty terrible performance in both the run game and pass protection. Anderson recorded his biggest gain on the ground(10 yards) in the 4th quarter, but promptly dropped a wide open pass on the next play. Anderson hauled in all 3 of his receptions for the day on checkdowns during the Broncos' lone touchdown drive of the game late in the 4th. He was spelled by Devontae Booker early in the 1st quarter as the Broncos tried to inject some "fresh legs" into the run game, but Denver fell behind and abandoned the run by the 2nd half.
2016 Week 6 vs SD (10 / 37 / 0 rush, 5 / 4 / 34 / 0 rec)
Anderson had a slow day on the stats sheet that would have looked a lot better without a few penalties on Anderson's biggest plays of the day. He had a big gain on the ground on an unexpected draw play in the last minute of the 1st half but the play was nullified by a holding penalty. He got robbed of another big gain by a holding penalty in the 3rd quarter after galloping around the right end for 15 yards. Anderson was robbed yet again late in the 4th quarter when he caught a pass out of the backfield and broke a couple of tackles on his way to scoring a 15 yard touchdown. The offensive line drew another holding penalty to negate the play. Anderson recorded his official gain(11 yards) on a draw play late in the 4th quarter. Anderson caught 4 of 5 targets during Denver's last 2 drives of the game. With the offense operating primarily in a 4WR spread set, Siemian checked down to Anderson out of the backfield frequently.
2016 Week 7 vs HOU (16 / 107 / 1 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Anderson got the start at halfback and mixed reps successfully with Devontae Booker, as both backs consistently churned out positive yardage against the Houston front 7. The Denver run game looked as good as it has all year. Anderson scored the Broncos' first touchdown of the day in the 2nd quarter on a 7 yard run. Anderson lined up in the backfield behind an offset Andy Janovich, then followed the fullback to the right side of the line before cutting back through a gaping hole to the left and scoring untouched. Anderson broke a handful of tackles and seemed to carry half the Houston defense on his back while toting the ball for his longest run(19 yards) on the last drive of the 1st half. Anderson lost goal line carries to fullback Janovich and Booker in the 3rd quarter when Booker scored his touchdown. He was not targeted in the passing game.
2015 Week 1 vs BAL (12 / 29 / 0 rush, 8 / 4 / 19 / 0 rec)
Anderson's playing time and usage against the Ravens reaffirmed his workhorse role, but he unfortunately was unable to make much of his opportunities. Making a name for himself with an ability to play through contact last season, Anderson didn't break a single tackle against Baltimore, and was held to just 2.4 yards per carry after playing the latter half with a toe injury. He did receive plenty of work in the passing game, including a play where he was split out to wide receiver and targeted on 3rd-and-6, but the defender was able to beat Anderson to the ball and knock it down. Even as a receiver, Anderson failed to use the available space to avoid or break free of contact.
2015 Week 2 vs KC (12 / 27 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 2 / 0 rec)
Expectations were low for Anderson, coming in with a toe injury and a short week of rest. As low as they were, Anderson lived up to them, with no room to run all evening and little ability to manufacture yardage that wasn't there. Anderson offered glimpses of his 2014 play, evading a tackle with a nifty step-back on a draw play on one down, jumping out of a shoestring tackle after the backfield collapsed in on him on another. He even managed to display some power, converting a 4th-and-1 run that didn't count because the team had called timeout just before the snap. For the carries that did count, though, Anderson's successes were few and far between; in the two previous short-yardage carries leading up to that 4th and 1, Anderson couldn't move the pile an inch.
2015 Week 3 vs DET (8 / 18 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 9 / 0 rec)
The extra days of rest after a Thursday night contest in week 2 might have helped C.J. Anderson's health, but it was hard to tell among the swarm of defenders on every snap. Unable to get any room to work, Anderson had a very futile rushing performance against Detroit. He left the game in the second quarter after suffering a stinger and being evaluated for a concussion, and he was cleared just in time to watch his backup, Ronnie Hillman, score the team's only rushing touchdown of the day on a 1-yard goal-line plunge. The lone bright spot to Anderson's continued struggles is that no other backs on Denver's roster were able to do any better. As a result, Anderson's job likely remains safe for now.
2015 Week 4 vs MIN (11 / 43 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 27 / 0 rec)
Running once again behind an overmatched offensive line, C.J. Anderson was bottled up and buried under all afternoon against the Minnesota Vikings. He is still yet to show any of the tackle-breaking, defender-dragging form that helped him carry the offense down the stretch in 2014, and at this point, he shows few signs of regaining that form. The biggest highlight of his day came on a passing play where Denver motioned him out of the backfield and out wide-- a tactic they have deployed several times this season-- and the Vikings defense simply lost track of him, allowing him to sneak behind the defense 20 yards down the sideline.
2015 Week 5 vs OAK (11 / 22 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 18 / 0 rec)
Fortunately for C.J. Anderson, he remained the starting back against the Oakland Raiders. Unfortunately, he found himself rotating more liberally with Ronnie Hillman than he had in recent weeks, essentially alternating series with the faster change-of-pace back. In the end, playing time is secondary to the fact that nobody on Denver's roster has been able to get anything going even when they've been on the field. Nearly half of Anderson's 22 rushing yards came on a 10-yard draw on 3rd-and-12. Otherwise, Anderson has yet to show even glimpses of the offense-carrying back who ended the 2014 season so strong.
2015 Week 6 vs CLE (13 / 41 / 0 rush, 4 / 4 / 25 / 0 rec)
C.J. Anderson once again got the start against the Cleveland Browns, and for much of the first half he split playing time fairly evenly with fellow running back Ronnie Hillman. His early play at least lacked the negative plays that had plagued him so far this season as the line was able to generate some semblance of a push, but a stream of small gains leaving his offense in long yardage apparently wore thin on the coaching staff, who curtailed in his playing time in the second half. Anderson continues to look better than Hillman as a receiver, which might give him his best chance of remaining relevant in a backfield which seems to be slipping slowly out of his grasp going forward.
2015 Week 8 vs GB (14 / 101 / 1 rush, 1 / 1 / 5 / 0 rec)
C.J. Anderson, who looked so unlike his late-2014 self before the bye, used the week of rest to get healthy. The results showed immediately against the Green Bay Packers, when Anderson found to-this-point rare yards after contact on each of his first two carries. Despite losing his starting job, Anderson played phenomenally, mixing consistent positive gains with a few key huge runs, including a tackle-breaking touchdown and a long run to set up a field goal. Anderson's workload was inflated by the fact that Hillman sat out much of the third quarter with an injury, but his stellar play made a strong case for him to regain the starting job going forward.
2015 Week 9 vs IND (7 / 34 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / 4 / 0 rec)
For the second straight week coming out of the bye, C.J. Anderson has shown some of the burst that was so present during his late-season run in 2014 and so absent during his early-season struggles in 2015. While it was Hillman who got the starting nod for the Broncos, it was Anderson who made all of the positive plays in the running game, gaining both of Denver's rushing first downs and largely avoiding drive-killing negative plays. With his newly rediscovered ability to run through contact, Anderson is making a compelling case to regain the lead role for the Broncos.
2015 Week 10 vs KC (2 / 9 / 0 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
After seemingly building positive momentum through strong performances over his last two games, C.J. Anderson was an afterthought against the Kansas City Chiefs. Anderson received just two carries, (which gained four and five yards), and one target, (which fell incomplete), as Hillman received the lion's share of Denver's running back workload.
2015 Week 11 vs CHI (12 / 59 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 13 / 0 rec)
A week after seeing little action, C.J. Anderson played a much more prominent role against a soft Chicago Bears run defense. As he has since the bye, Anderson consistently displayed power and explosiveness, running through tackle attempts and pushing the pile. Anderson's first run was his best, taking a give-up draw on 3rd-and-12 and dragging tacklers for a 13-yard conversion. It would be one of just three conversions for the Denver offense on 3rd and more than 4 yards; a second came on a 12-yard reception by Anderson on 3rd-and-7.
2015 Week 12 vs NE (15 / 113 / 2 rush, 4 / 4 / 40 / 0 rec)
Continuing a long stretch of stellar play since Denver's bye week, C.J. Anderson was instrumental in carrying the Denver Broncos to victory against the previously-undefeated New England Patriots. After going three-and-out on its first two drives with Ronnie Hillman, Denver's offense came alive with Anderson on the field, driving 68 yards before a 3rd-and-2 sack forced a punt. This would herald things to come, as Anderson played a key role on every one of Denver's productive drives except for the 2-minute touchdown drive at the end of the 4th quarter. A remarkable 12 of Anderson's 19 touches gained at least four yards as he routinely ran through contact, dragged would-be-tacklers, and surprised oncoming defenders with his speed to the hole. Anderson cemented his place as the offensive star of the night with a 48-yard walkoff touchdown run on 3rd-and-1 in overtime. As well as he's playing, it will be difficult for Denver to keep him off the field going forward.
2015 Week 13 vs SD (7 / 42 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 12 / 0 rec)
While Ronnie Hillman once again got the start, C.J. Anderson picked up where he left off in recent weeks with some phenomenal running between the tackles, including turning a broken tackle at the line of scrimmage into a 22-yard gain on his first carry of the game. Unfortunately for Anderson, who was having a terrific day running the ball, he injured his ankle just before halftime and sat out the second half. Asked about the injury after the game, Anderson said "I'm not worried at all. I'm fine."
2015 Week 15 vs PIT (4 / 14 / 0 rush, 3 / 1 / 6 / 0 rec)
C.J. Anderson was healthy enough to play against the Pittsburgh Steelers a week after being active but not logging a snap against the Raiders, but whether due to lingering effects of his ankle injury or simply a coach's decision, Anderson saw little action. Anderson showed little of note on his five carries, (one of which was called back due to penalty), and one reception.
2015 Week 16 vs CIN (9 / 73 / 1 rush, 2 / 1 / 8 / 0 rec)
As he has nearly every week since the bye, C.J. Anderson clearly looked like the best back on the Denver Broncos despite receiving fewer snaps than starter Ronnie Hillman. Reminiscent of his walk-off overtime touchdown against New England, C.J. Anderson cut an inside handoff out wide, eluded or stepped out of three tackle attempts, and raced 39 yards for Denver's go-ahead touchdown. He had several other broken tackles, and finished his afternoon with just one blemish-- a fumble after a crushing hit just past the line of scrimmage. Fortunately, the coaching staff showed continued faith in him after the turnover, sending him back out to open the next drive.
2015 Week 17 vs SD (15 / 95 / 1 rush, 3 / 1 / -5 / 0 rec)
While he may lack backfield-mate Ronnie Hillman's top-end speed, C.J. Anderson showed off his explosive power against the San Diego Chargers, leveraging good blocking at the point of attack to build up some speed and punish would-be tacklers. Emblematic of his day was a carry on 2nd-and-10 where his offensive line got him a crease and he lowered his shoulder to level a linebacker two yards past the line of scrimmage, bouncing off and falling forward through another tackle for a five-yard gain. Anderson also had a three-play sequence after Denver lost the lead to San Diego where he ran to left corner of the end zone for a touchdown, only for replay to rule him down at the one. He then ran behind the right tackle for a touchdown, only for replay to rule him down at the one again. Finally, he slammed the ball in between the tackles, this time leaving no doubt that he crossed the goal line. As terrific as Anderson's running was, a crucial fumble early in the 3rd quarter set the Chargers up in Denver's territory, leading to his team relinquishing the lead and eventually to the benching of Brock Osweiler.
2015 Week 20 vs NE (16 / 72 / 0 rush, 3 / 3 / 18 / 0 rec)
Anderson isn't getting the starting nod, but he's the engine keeping the backfield running. Both Anderson and Hillman made little headway in the first half, but Anderson did very well in the second, and helped grind the clock down though the Patriots were still able to make one last drive to try and tie the game. Anderson runs hard and showed some great vision as well, seeing and then hitting the running lane swiftly when there is space and fighting for yards when the defense was able to jam the line.
2014 Week 1 vs IND (4 / 27 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Anderson came in throughout the game to provide Montee Ball with a breather, but finished the day with just 9 snaps. He generally acquitted himself well on his carries and looked more physically impressive than Ball, but he also benefited from better blocking in the running game. He was clearly behind Ball on the depth chart and played only when Ball needed a rest.
2014 Week 2 vs KC (5 / 31 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
After entering the season as the #3 back on the depth chart, C.J. Anderson seems to have secured the role as Ball's primary backup over Ronnie Hillman. Anderson didn't see the field until the end of the first half, but entered the game on Denver's fifth offensive drive. Despite two stoppages of play, (a challenged call and the two-minute warning), Denver's coaches opted to keep Anderson on the field and let him play the entire drive, which ended in a Denver touchdown. Like Ball, Anderson was met at the line of scrimmage on most of his carries, but twice was able to run through an arm tackle, get into the second level, and carry for a big gain. Outside of that one drive, C.J. Anderson only played one snap, giving Montee Ball a quick breather in the second half before returning to the bench.
2014 Week 3 vs SEA (2 / -3 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 1 / 0 rec)
For the third straight week, C.J. Anderson was the first back to enter the game in relief of Montee Ball, checking in late in the first half. Anderson played just three snaps, but touched the ball on each of them. He received two carries, both of which saw him breaking an arm tackle in the backfield only to get tackled by the second wave of defenders for a loss. Anderson also received a target, which he caught but was immediately swarmed under for a gain of just a yard. Anderson did not play in the second half.
2014 Week 6 vs NYJ (0 / 0 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
C.J. Anderson was active against New York, but played only one snap and has fallen behind undrafted rookie Juwan Thompson in the pecking order of Denver's backfield.
2014 Week 9 vs NE (3 / 18 / 0 rush, 4 / 3 / 33 / 0 rec)
Anderson received his first extensive action in weeks as, down 22 points with under 10 minutes remaining, Denver turned to the second-year back late in the game. His first target of the game resulted in a 24-yard reception as Anderson powered over and through New England defenders, but his other targets were simple dump-offs that netted little yardage. All three of Anderson's carries came in the final two minutes of the game as Denver simply ran out the remaining clock.
2014 Week 10 vs OAK (13 / 90 / 0 rush, 7 / 4 / 73 / 1 rec)
With Montee Ball still out and Ronnie Hillman hobbled, C.J. Anderson received his first extended action of the season, and he made the most of his opportunity. Anderson's day started with a bang, with 29 yards on three touches on Denver's first drive as Anderson showed a good mix of power and patience. Shortly before halftime, Anderson made the offensive play of the day, as he took a short dumpoff in the flat on 3rd and 8, evaded three tackle attempts near the line of scrimmage, tightroped the sideline for the first down, then reversed field and ran through the heart of the defense, eventually running 51 yards for the go-ahead touchdown. Anderson was consistently explosive through the entire game, gaining at least 10 yards on six of his twelve touches before Denver pulled its starters and entered clock-killing mode at the end of the game.
2014 Week 11 vs STL (9 / 29 / 0 rush, 10 / 8 / 86 / 0 rec)
After a strong game against Oakland, Denver's run-blocking woes reared their ugly head once again, and Anderson was stymied in his first game as a starter. With defenders in his face immediately and a gameplan that abandoned the run early, Anderson averaged just 3.2 yards per carry, with over half of that coming after first contact. Luckily for Anderson, a rash of injuries across the rest of the roster left the Broncos short-handed, and Anderson capitalized with 8 targets after halftime. He had considerably more success breaking tackles on his receptions, and Anderson has quickly developed into a real weapon in Denver's passing game.
2014 Week 12 vs MIA (27 / 167 / 1 rush, 4 / 4 / 28 / 0 rec)
After struggling in run blocking for most of the season, Denver opted to use heavier lineups against the Miami Dolphins, spending almost the entire game with blocking specialist Virgil Green or a sixth offensive lineman on the field. The results were spectacular, as Denver's line had its best game of the season, opening up large holes and keeping an active Miami Dolphins front seven out of the backfield. C.J. Anderson took advantage in a big way, responding with the second-biggest rushing explosion of the Peyton Manning era by nearly fifty yards. In a welcome change, fully two-thirds of Anderson's yards came before contact as he was able to quickly identify the open running lane and break through the line of scrimmage for consistent gains. 18 of Anderson's 27 carries gained at least 4 yards or a first down, (and often both), including a 20-yard gain on 4th-and-2 with Denver mounting a comeback. In addition, Anderson's presence was felt as a weapon out of the backfield on passing plays, with a conversion on 3rd-and-6 and three solid gains on 1st-and-10.
2014 Week 13 vs KC (32 / 168 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 17 / 1 rec)
With the temperatures low and the winds swirling, Denver clearly entered the game against Kansas City intent on establishing the run behind C.J. Anderson. Anderson received handoffs on 9 of Denver's first 12 offensive plays, with the three exceptions being a trio of passes on 3rd-and-long. Anderson's 32 rushes on the day marked just the fourth time since 2004 that a Denver back has exceeded 30 carries. More than merely compiling through volume, Anderson ran with power against an active Kansas City front, breaking numerous tackles and doing a good job of breaking past the line of scrimmage with his momentum intact, turning 2-3 yard gains into 8+ yard runs. Anderson also showed patience when appropriate, such as on a 4th-and-1 carry where, recognizing his blocking lanes weren't open, Anderson stepped back to avoid the initial defenders, kept his legs high, and managed to bounce the run to the outside for 13 yards and a new set of downs. Anderson also continued chipping in out of the backfield, including slipping over the middle on 3rd-and-11 to catch a short dumpoff with nothing but green grass in front of him, resulting in his lone touchdown of the day.
2014 Week 14 vs BUF (21 / 58 / 3 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
After easily securing Denver's starting job with a string of fantastic outings against overmatched opponents, C.J. Anderson found the going much tougher against the Buffalo Bills and one of the league's best defensive front sevens. A week after breaking 13 tackles against the Chiefs, Anderson was unable to shed a single tackle against a Bills defense that shut down his running lanes and denied him any big gains. Partly due to the lack of pass attempts overall, C.J. Anderson also failed to draw a target for the first time since week 8 after earning 28 in his previous five games. Fortunately for Anderson's fantasy owners, Denver's trust showed through in a heavy workload at the goal line, and Anderson was able to punch in a trio of hard-fought touchdowns on 2nd-and-2 from the 6, 3rd-and-goal from the 1, and 1st-and-goal from the 3.
2014 Week 15 vs SD (29 / 85 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 11 / 0 rec)
Anderson continued his high-usage ways against the San Diego Chargers, but struggled to make much of his carries. Anderson had two carries on 3rd-and-short and another two carries from the 1 yard line, and he failed to convert on any of them, (though his second goal-line carry was initially ruled a touchdown before getting overturned on replay). In fact, just three of Anderson's 29 carries went for a new set of downs as Denver's offensive line has largely reverted to its early-season struggles and Anderson was unable to make enough people miss. Anderson's best run of the day was the lone exception, an 18-yard gain on 3rd-and-10 where Anderson bounced a handoff to the outside and cut through the heart of San Diego's defense for 18 yards; unfortunately, it simply was not to be Anderson's day, as the carry was called back due to offensive holding. Anderson also had a brief injury scare after a particularly hard hit, but he was able to pass the sideline concussion protocol and return to the game with minimal missed time.
2014 Week 16 vs CIN (18 / 83 / 1 rush, 10 / 8 / 55 / 0 rec)
Denver once again opened with an Anderson-heavy gameplan against the Bengals, giving him a steady stream of short touches and hoping he could make something happen. Anderson had a few spectacular runs where he broke first contact or eluded the first line of defenders, but most of the time he couldn't maintain the consistent gains and drives wound up stalling out. Anderson also continued to be heavily involved in the passing game, finishing with a whopping 10 targets, but as with the running game too many of Anderson's touches wound up being short gains before he was quickly swarmed under. Anderson also had a pair of drops on plays where he didn't have his head around early enough when the ball arrived.
2014 Week 17 vs OAK (13 / 87 / 3 rush, 3 / 2 / 20 / 0 rec)
Against the woeful Oakland Raiders, C.J. Anderson joined Terrell Davis, Mike Anderson, and Clinton Portis as the only Broncos RBs to rush for 3 touchdowns in multiple games. Anderson scored the touchdowns in a fantastic tackle-breaking effort that was a throwback to his best games earlier in the season. The lone blemish on his resume was a fumble on a short dumpoff over the middle on 3rd-and-long, but luckily Denver was able to recover and punt. When Denver pulled its most important starters late in the fourth quarter, Anderson earned the right to join them on the bench and watch the end of the blowout.
2014 Week 19 vs IND (18 / 80 / 0 rush, 6 / 6 / 29 / 0 rec)
C.J. Anderson's day against the Colts did not start out particularly well, with a blown read in pass protection early in the 2nd quarter leading to a defender coming unblocked at Manning's blind side, registering an easy sack and forced fumble. Denver continued their trend of featuring Anderson in the passing game, targeting him six times. Anderson struggled to get any room to run, though, gaining two yards or fewer on four of his six receptions and failing to convert a first down through the air until a meaningless 15 yard gain with under a minute remaining. Despite the struggles, though, Anderson made several of the plays of the game for the Broncos. Anderson had a reception on 4th-and-8 that featured a phenomenal individual effort that unfortunately came up just inches short of converting. Anderson had another Herculean effort on a 4th-and-1 rushing attempt that saw Anderson met three yards deep in the backfield. Anderson shed both tackles, reversed field, and broke two more tackle attempts to convert the first down and keep Denver's flicker of hope alive. While he didn't have a perfect day, at times it seemed as if he was the only offensive player who had not given up, and he ended the season with a strong final impression.
2013 Week 8 vs WAS (4 / 22 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Active for the first time all season, C.J. Anderson saw just 10 snaps as Denver mostly relied on a rotation of Moreno and Ball. Anderson's lone first-half carry was a 3-yard gain on 1st-and-10. Denver trusted him with a little bit of playing time in an important situation, as Anderson received two carries on Denver's drive down the field to tie the game in the 3rd quarter. Anderson responded with a 2-yard conversion of 2nd-and-2 and a 6-yard gain on 1st-and-10, but was pulled for Moreno and Ball again once Denver neared the red zone. His final carry of the day was his best, as Anderson took the handoff, knifed through an initial arm tackle attempt, was wrapped up by two tacklers after nine yards, and managed to spin them around for an additional two yards to convert the first down. When asked about the rookie's play after the game, coach John Fox said "I thought he had a good game, the game wasn't too big for him."
2013 Week 11 vs KC (0 / 0 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
C.J. Anderson was active, but did not receive a touch. He saw barely any snaps, but did share the field with Montee Ball in a very rare 2-back set for the Broncos.
2013 Week 12 vs NE (3 / 16 / 0 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
After Montee Ball was benched for his lost fumble, C.J. Anderson was called upon to spell Knowshon Moreno and help keep him fresh. From the point of the fumble, Anderson played 11 of Denver's 41 offensive snaps, mostly handling duties on passing downs. On an evening where it seemed that no one could hang on to the football, Anderson demonstrated that he was no exception, and on his fourth carry of the game he failed to secure the handoff from Peyton Manning, leading to yet another Denver fumble. The Broncos recovered, but that was the last snap Anderson played, as Moreno came in for the last four plays of the drive and Denver never got the ball back after that.