ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --The Broncos have scored more points through eight games than anyone else in league history, and have more yards in the first eight games than all but two teams all-time.
That doesn't sound like an offense with any problems. But one gnaws at Offensive Coordinator Adam Gase: fumbles.
With 18 fumbles in eight games, the Broncos' average of 2.25 fumbles per game is the league's highest rate just ahead of the 2.0 fumbles a game by the Bills and Seahawks. On a per-touch basis -- incorporating interception returns, kickoff and punt returns and offensive snaps -- the Broncos rank second in the league behind Seattle, with one fumble every 34.94 opportunities -- well shy of the league average of one fumble every 53.47 chances.
"That's massive compared to anybody else in the league, and that's our No. 1 priority to fix," Gase said.
Fortunately for the Broncos, it's not a persistent problem. Last year, the Broncos had 21 fumbles all season, and averaged one fumble every 56.29 chances, which would have been slightly above average -- 13th best in the league, and a touch better than the league-wide fumble rate of one every 52.92 chances.
But the rate the last three weeks -- one fumble every 30.13 chances -- sounds the alarms. Gase believes fixing the issue is more mental as physical.
"It's just a conscious decision that that ball is not going to be on the ground and our guys are really focusing on it," Gase said. "They're putting the ball away."
And the defense has been instructed to help underscore the point the offense.
"The defense does a great job of trying to make it hard on us and they know it's a point of emphasis," Gase said. "We've talked about it so much that the defense knows they're going to try to get it out and our guys got to put it away."