The Denver Broncos are tied for the AFC West lead, but that doesn't mean the defending champs are sitting pretty. The Broncos have lost two in a row and have averaged 14.5 points per game during the slide.

So what's the reason for the downturn?

Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders believes he knows what's the reason. And it's not the passing game.

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"I'm not pointing fingers at nobody -- collectively as an offense, whoever, whatever it is, we need to fix that issue. It starts with the run game," Sanders said, via Pro Football Now.

Sanders said teams are focused on stopping the Broncos' aerial attack and that the ground game needs to take advantage.

"We gotta be able to run the football because teams are coming out … teams are starting to play zone coverage, Cover 2," Sanders said. "You gotta be able to run the football when they go and play us like that, when they're dropping so deep into the curl, into the flat. ... Teams don't want to play us man. As humble as I can say that, teams do not want to play us man."

The Broncos rushed for just 84 yards in each of their past two games. Trevor Siemian threw for 230 yards in Denver's loss last week to the Chargers despite throwing the ball 50 times.

But Sanders contends that the passing game will get back on track once the Broncos start moving the ball on the ground.

"We gotta be able to run the football, we're trying to get to that point, [and] the moment we start running the football, we'll become way more productive as an offensive unit."