Denver Broncos: Knowshon Moreno's Last Chance on Sunday

Christopher SmithCorrespondent IIISeptember 25, 2011

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 12:  Running back  Knowshon Moreno #27 of the Denver Broncos is attended to on the bench late in the fourth quarter against the Oakland Raiders at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 12, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Raiders defeated the Broncos 23-20.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Denver Broncos starting running back Knowshon Moreno is just about out of time in Denver.

After two disappointing seasons to start his career, there's almost enough evidence to label Moreno another first round bust.

Moreno sat out for Denver's meeting with the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 2—during which Willis McGahee made the most out of his time.

Moreno returns to the field on Sunday against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field in Nashville. This game will serve as his last chance to prove he can bear the weight of the starting position.

He'll face a difficult defense, and he'll be coming off an injury, but there's no time like the present—regardless of the forces against him.

McGahee has been criticized of having little left in the tank, and did his best to prove those words wrong last week as he rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown against a stout Bengals defensive line.

One game isn't enough to prove that McGahee should take the lead in Denver.

Two games, on the other hand, might be just enough to throw in the towel on Moreno's season, and give McGahee the reins.

The rushing attack for Denver will be critical in managing the clock, hanging onto the ball, and keeping Chris Johnson and the newly rejuvenated arm of Matt Hasselbeck off the field on Sunday morning.

If John Fox is smart, he'll give Moreno no more than a quarter to prove that he can get his job done.

Week 1 against the Raiders didn't prove that Moreno can't run the ball. The conditions were terrible, the offensive line had seemingly lost all its instincts, and Fox gave up on the run early in the first half.

Week 2 saw Moreno on the sidelines with the latest of many injuries. It's tough to say a player is injury-prone, but Moreno is really asking for the title.

His starting position not only relies on his ability to be effective during the game, but his ability to avoid injury and stay healthy enough to handle the bulk of the carries.

McGahee quickly proved in only one week that he has more than enough strength and tenacity to be take the lead and keep Moreno on the second string.

He was expected to be the touchdown hawk for the team and come in on short yardage and goal line situations, but it seems McGahee may be better suited to come in first and finish the job as well.

If Moreno can't prove to the coaching staff on Sunday that he's worth the starting nod, expect him to to move to a Reggie Bush type position on the team—catching the ball on screens and in the flat in open space. And expect McGahee to move into the starting role, and into a viable fantasy football option during bye weeks later in the year.