Willis McGahee says struggling running game 'a long ways away'

ENGLEWOOD, Colo.—Willis McGahee isn't frustrated by the performance of the Broncos’ running game. But there's no masking the lack of production from that part of the offense, which has been held below 75 yards and to 3.5 yards or less per carry in three of the past four games.

The balky running game is partly culpable for the Broncos' notoriously slow starts, especially the past two weeks. McGahee averaged 3.8 yards per carry in the first half at New England in Week 5, then was held to 0.7 yards per carry in the first half at San Diego.

The Broncos tried to get the ground game going early at San Diego, playing their first possession in a three-tight end formation that shoved blocking specialist Virgil Green into the starting lineup for the first time this season. But Denver's blockers have struggled to get any kind of push in recent weeks, and the Broncos have quickly abandoned the run.

Denver's best hope at building a balanced offense might be to use the pass to set up the run. McGahee finally got going in the fourth quarter Monday, averaging 6.3 yards per carry as the Chargers began dropping back in zones to neutralize Peyton Manning, who was shredding San Diego during the Broncos’ comeback win.

"We're close, but we're still a long ways away," McGahee said. "There are certain things we can do better and get better at as far as the run game. But at the end of the day, last year I didn't start out like 100-yard game, 100-yard game. It was nickel-and-diming it."

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