There's no question about how the Denver Broncos won the Super Bowl this past season. They did it with an unmatched defense led by Von Miller. It wasn't the Peyton Manning-led offense, or the not-so-dominant rushing attack. It was the defense and you won't find a single person arguing against that fact.
That's not to say the Broncos couldn't run the ball last year. They just chose not to. Denver ranked in the middle of the road as far as rushing attempts go, ranking 17th in the league in that department. They did so despite averaging a respectable 4.2 yards per carry and having found the end zone 13 times on the ground.
Now that the Broncos will likely have Mark Sanchez starting at quarterback, running the ball will be paramount. Fortunately, Denver has a solid backfield featuring C.J. Anderson, Ronnie Hillman and rookie Devontae Booker. The backfield will also feature a new wrinkle that wasn't often used in 2015.
"I don't think there's a question what coach [Gary Kubiak] wants to do," Anderson said via ESPN. "All you have to do is look out there and see a fullback running around ... I mean, we even drafted one. [Kubiak] wants to run the ball."
Andy Janovich and Juwan Thompson have both lined up at fullback in practice fairly often this offseason, according to ESPN, which is something the Broncos rarely did last season. Does that mean they'll run the ball more? It sure does.
"You look at it, everybody knows it might be a little different," Emmanuel Sanders said. "I don't know if that means more carries and all that, we'll see, but I think (the coaches) want us to be better ... and as receivers, anything that opens things up down the field is going to be good."
The Broncos will absolutely need to establish the ground game before they try to take shots downfield, or throw the ball with any consistency for that matter. Right now, their aerial attack doesn't look difficult to defend in the slightest right now. As a result, they'll need to counteract that with a strong run game, which should open up the field for Denver's receivers.
How much the Broncos run the ball remains to be seen, but there's little doubt the offense will be more run-heavy in 2016.