Backup backs bring boost
C.J. Anderson's thrilling opening-drive touchdown run was the defining moment from the running back corps Saturday, but the rest of the group had its fair share of promising moments.
Devontae Booker led the Broncos running back corps with nine carries for 36 yards, showcasing good reads, sharp cuts and tough running. And though Ronnie Hillman and Kapri Bibbs each had three carries, they both averaged at least seven yards per rush.
"[RB Devontae Booker] 'Book' split with C.J. and then 'Book' split with Ronnie," Head Coach Gary Kubiak said. "Ronnie looked good. Early in the second half, he had some nice runs. It looked like he picked up a couple of blitzes really well. Ronnie is a veteran player. I know he played on special teams for [Special Teams Coordinator] Joe [DeCamillis], so I have to go back and look at it. It's obviously a very competitive situation for our team."
From his view, Anderson liked what he saw from the reserve rushers.
"We have a tough backfield. Ronnie made some good cuts and Booker made some good plays today," Anderson said. "We just have a backfield where everyone can play, so I guess that's what you want to see and what you want to do. I am just happy that I have the guys behind me. I have to give up some carries. I know that, so I am never going to be upset about that. It has always been that way since I got here. Like I always have said, no matter who's in the game we are not going to miss a beat."
Paxton impresses in front of his family
Rookie QB Paxton Lynch scored his first NFL touchdown Saturday late in the third quarter on a 8-yard pass to tight end John Phillips. After celebrating the touchdown, Phillips gave the rookie QB the ball to keep as a memory of his first touchdown in the league. Lynch joked after the game that he was nervous for this moment because he knew that if he had thrown it another rookie, there would be a debate over who got to keep the game ball.
"It was very exciting," Lynch said on his first professional touchdown. "If I threw [one of the rookies] a touchdown pass, it was kind of a debacle on who was going to get the ball, but luckily I threw it to an older guy, and he gave [the ball] right to me."
Not only did Lynch get to keep the ball, but he also was able to share the moment with his family who was in attendance at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. His mom, dad and little brother were all their to watch Lynch shine in the second half in his first home game.
He added a second touchdown in the fourth quarter on a 4-yard pass to wide receiver Durron Neal. Though a last-minute effort to tie the game ended in an interception, Kubiak was impressed by Lynch's performance and shared some of the responsibility.
"I thought he did great," Kubiak said. "I wish I called a better play, that's the way I look at it as a coach. Second-and-15, I put him in a situation and gave him a play, obviously not a very good football play. I look at myself. You try to keep your quarterback in the best position possible. That's the way I look at things first. We had a chance to come out of this game as well as he could, except for that one play when you think about it."