ENGLEWOOD - Individually, their numbers don't look like much. Collectively, the Broncos running backs are getting closer to giving Peyton Manning the help he needs.
For the first time in four weeks, no Denver running back fumbled. Meanwhile, Knowshon Moreno, Montee Ball and the newest addition to the Broncos running rotation, C.J. Anderson, combined for 192 yards in offense to help Denver top Washington 45-21 on Sunday.
All of that is a good sign for a team that heads into its bye this week and will return in November, when the weather starts getting cold and passing games around the league tend to cool off, as well.
"Whoever is in there at any given time, we're calling the same plays and we expect them all to be able to handle the run plays and the pass plays and catch the ball out of the backfield," Manning said after throwing for 354 yards in Sunday's win to give him 2,919 at the halfway point - a record through eight games.
If it were only that simple.
Since Manning's arrival, the ground game has become something of an afterthought, and that may have cost the Broncos a trip to the Super Bowl last season.
Missing Moreno and Willis McGahee with injuries, the Broncos tried to run the clock out in the playoffs against Baltimore using third-down back Ronnie Hillman. It didn't work, and the rest is history.
Looking for more heft and consistency this season, the Broncos drafted Ball in the second round and made Hillman, who beefed up in the offseason, the No. 1 in training camp.
Moreno, third on the depth chart this summer, got the starting job and has turned out to the most consistent presence in the running game so far this season.
Miller will perform community service
Broncos linebacker Von Miller has agreed to perform 24 hours of community service and take a driving course before Jan. 23, at which time his lawyer will enter guilty pleas for minor traffic violations.
Miller's lawyer, Abraham Hutt, said neither he nor prosecutors thought Miller had to be present for his Arapahoe County Court hearing Monday. Magistrate Christina Apostoli wanted him there, however, so Miller was summoned from the team's nearby headquarters.
Players were off Monday. When coach John Fox met with the media, he said Miller "was just going on his lawyer's advice," not to attend the hearing before being called. Miller does not have to attend Jan. 23.