Kyle Orton and Broncos Offense Show Teams Can Succeed Without a Running Game

Jesse PaguagaContributor IOctober 4, 2010

Kyle Orton has the Denver Broncos ranked number one in passing yards through Week 4.
Kyle Orton has the Denver Broncos ranked number one in passing yards through Week 4.Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

With an exciting 26-20 win over the Tennessee Titans, the Denver Broncos continue to rely on the right arm of Kyle Orton for success. 

Orton collected 341 yards through the air on 50 pass attempts Sunday afternoon, his second 50 attempt game of the Josh McDaniels Era in Denver. On the season, he leads the NFL with 1,419 passing yards to go along with a league-high 175 attempts. 

Despite handing the ball off 17 times to Laurence Maroney and Correll Buckhalter on Sunday afternoon, the duo could only muster eight yards between the two of them. Orton actually led the Broncos in rushing yards with 11, highlighting just how bad the Denver running game is.

The lack of a true running game has created ample opportunity for Orton to spread the ball around to his plethora of receiving options. Seven different receivers caught a pass from Orton on Sunday, as he held a 70 percent completion percentage for the game despite his high volume of passes. Brandon Lloyd and Eddie Royal were his top targets they each had over 100 yards receiving. 

The main reason that Denver has been able to thrive using this pass-heavy offense is their large pool of talent at the wide receiver position.

Royal, Lloyd, and Jabar Gaffney are the veterans of the group and are the starters on offense. Lloyd has finally seemed to bring his talent together, as he has 25 catches for 454 yards in his first four games and established himself as Denver's No. 1 receiver with another breakout game Sunday.

Royal and Gaffney each have over 20 receptions on the year as, they remain Orton's number one options on underneath routes, a staple of the Denver offense. 

Rookie Demaryius Thomas has shown promise in the passing game as well, using his size and athleticism to dominate certain stretches of games. In Week 2, Thomas caught eight passes for 97 yards and a score dominating the Seattle secondary.

Although he sits at No. 4 on the depth chart for Denver, Thomas' game-changing ability gives Josh McDaniels no choice but to use him when he's healthy. 

For now, Orton and his talented receiving core will be looked at carry the Broncos offense and give Denver a chance at a wide-open AFC West.