As the Denver Broncos sifted through the what-happened list from Sunday's 22-7 loss to the St. Louis Rams, there were plenty of numbers they didn't like, starting with the ones on the scoreboard.
But one of the other red-flag numerals was the team's rushing attempts against the Rams, as in just 10 for the entire game, one of those a kneel-down from quarterback Peyton Manning just before halftime. The Broncos finished with just 28 yards rushing and as a result held on to the ball for just 24 minutes, 10 seconds in the game.
It was the third game this season when the Broncos have finished with fewer than 50 yards rushing and the Broncos are 0-3 in those games, with road losses at Seattle, New England and Sunday's in St. Louis.
"There's no doubt to be the kind of team we want to be, we have to run the ball more," said Broncos head coach John Fox. "There's a mindset, mentality, whether you're on defense trying to stop the run and whether you're on offense running the football … Right now it's something we have to do more, we have to execute better."
Based on last week against the Rams, maybe even Peyton Manning and the Broncos can't get away with dropping back to pass as much as they have as defense can eventually adjust. The story went on to say the 10 carries tied for the Broncos' lowest total since the start of the 1981 season -- two years before the team traded for uber quarterback prospect John Elway. The Broncos had 11 rushing attempts against the San Diego Chargers last season -- the previous low since quarterback Peyton Manning signed with the team -- and the Broncos had 10 carries against the Chargers in the 2008 season finale, Mike Shanahan's last game as the team's head coach. The story went on to say the Broncos are also one of seven teams in the league with fewer than 245 rushing attempts for the season and Denver is the only one of those seven teams with a winning record -- the other six teams have a combined 13-47 record, a list that includes the 0-10 Oakland Raiders as well as the Tennessee Titans and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, both 2-8. This week may not get much easier with the Dolphins in town. C.J. Anderson looks like he's going to have to carry the load with both Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman out.