Phillip Lindsay rushed for over 1,000 yards in his first two years out of Colorado. Will the Denver Broncos running back rush for over 1,000 yards in 2020?
After going undrafted out of Colorado in 2018, running back Phillip Lindsay has put together quite a career with his home-state Denver Broncos. Lindsay made the Pro Bowl as a rookie in 2018. He has also rushed for over 1,000 yards in his first two professional seasons out of Boulder. Will Lindsay make it three straight years with 1,000 rushing yards to begin his NFL career?
The Fantasy Footballers dive into this question on Monday’s show. Mike Wright points out while Lindsay rushed for over 1,000 yards in his first two seasons in the league, he only crossed the four-digit threshold by the skin of his teeth both times. Lindsay had 1,037 rushing yards in 2018 and 1,011 in 2019. How do we project him going forward?
Wright mentions the Broncos have another talented running back in Royce Freeman, a guy who John Elway drafted out of Oregon in 2018. While Lindsay has been more of the featured back in Denver the last two years, both Wright and Jason Moore believe the carries will be a tad more balanced in Denver upon the arrival of Pat Shurmur as the Broncos’ offensive coordinator.
While Shurmur had an undeniable bell-cow during his two seasons as the New York Giants head coach in Saquon Barkley, neither Lindsay or Freeman are Barkley. Frankly, few running backs are. Though the guys believe Shurmur will end up being a huge plus for the Broncos offense, especially with second-year quarterback Drew Lock, they think Lindsay does not hit 1,000 yards in 2020.
The reason they’re fading Lindsay a bit is they don’t expect him to be featured as prominently as he was as a rookie or coming out of the bye week last year for the Broncos. Wright brought out how balanced the rushing attack was for Shurmur’s 2017 Minnesota Vikings when he was the offensive coordinator there. It was evenly split between Jerick McKinnon and Latavius Murray.
Overall, 1,000 yards seems like a quality benchmark for Lindsay’s performance in 2020. The Broncos offense may end up significantly better than it has been in recent years. So that could lead to a spike in carries, especially if the Broncos lead late in games. However, Freeman might do enough to keep the ball out of Lindsay’s hands to prevent him from rushing for 1,000 yards again.