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Javonte Williams was carrying Marlon Humphrey on his back for so long he should’ve charged the guy cab fare.
“I think (Humphrey) tried to go for the ball instead of trying to tackle me,” the Broncos’ rookie running back would say later about his stomping, 31-yard run for the ages against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday at Empower Field. “He just jumped my back, and I kept going.”
And going. And going. Five yards. Ten. For about 18 yards, Williams served as Humphrey’s personal Lyft driver, dragging the 6-foot, 197-pound defensive back all the way to the Ravens’ 9-yard line.
This after spinning out of one Baltimore tackle at the of scrimmage and ripping through the collective arms of another three before Humphrey decided to hop on. It was glorious. And, ultimately, all for naught.
“Javonte had a fantastic run,” coach Vic Fangio said after his Broncos lost, 23-7, their first setback in four games. “And (I) thought Melvin (Gordon) was running really good. But it got bottled up there pretty good as the game wore on.”
Did the Ravens “bottle” it up? Or did the Broncos’ offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur give up on it too dang soon?
Williams and Gordon combined for 104 rushing yards on just 16 attempts against a Ravens run defense that came into Week 4 allowing just 79 on the ground per contest. Yet Williams touched the ball all of three times in the second half. And just once on the ground — for 10 yards and a first down.
“Yeah, (committing to the run is) important,” Fangio said. “Anytime you can have balance, you’re a better offensive football team.
“And we really weren’t able to get much going in the running game or the passing game, obviously. Consequently, we didn’t sustain much and had a bad day on third down and (didn’t) give (our offense) more chances.”
The Broncos went 1-for-7 on third down chances in the first half, 3-for-14 on the day and punted 10 times. Take out Williams’ 31-yard foray into Beast Mode, and Denver still averaged 4.2 yards per carry on first and second down while quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was in the game.
Balance wasn’t the issue, Coach. Execution was. Execution and commitment.
“I guess it was lack of focus,” Williams, who finished with 59 yards on 11 touches, said of the Broncos’ offensive fade. “A lot of guys, including me, (were) missing the details, messing up on small things. And it all added together. It cost us the game.”
Although the final snap count for the second quarter, with the game still in the balance, didn’t paint a pretty picture, either: Nine throws. Four carries. Toss out the last drive of the stanza, the one during which Bridgewater got dinged, and it was six throws, four rushes.
In the first half, the Broncos ran 25 plays on first and second down. Thirteen of them were throws, netting 38 yards, or 2.9 yards per attempt. The other dozen were runs, amassing 77 yards, good for 6.42 yards per tote.
Apparently, math was another little detail that somehow went missing.
“Yeah, the run game in the NFL, it’s No. 1, it’s undefeated,” noted quarterback Drew Lock, who’s going to need all the help he can get if he’s leading the offense at grouchy Pittsburgh (1-3) on Sunday.
“If you’ve got a good run game, you can do a lot of things … so being able to feed Melvin, being about to feed Javonte, keep them in the game, keep them warm, I think that will always help us out, whenever you get into games — especially where both defenses are playing well and it’s about controlling the ball, staying on the field, and converting third downs. If you can get to the third-and-short, rather than having third-and-longs and (third-and)-sevens-and-10s, that’s where it goes tough for you. And that’s where the run game helps.”
It helps on the road, too. It helps at viper’s dens such as Heinz Field, where the Steelers are winless (0-2) this season. Pittsburgh gave up 131 on the ground in its loss at Green Bay on Sunday.
The Curtain is made of a much softer steel these days. If Shurmur forgets about Williams next weekend the way he did against the Ravens, it’s going to make for one long, lonely ride home.
Arc’teryx is venturing out of its Cherry Creek space.
The 3,500 square feet the Vancouver-based outdoor apparel and gear company occupies at 250 Columbine St. is being marketed for lease, according to materials obtained by BusinessDen.
Arc’teryx did not confirm when it plans to move out of its only Denver retail store.
“Our team is still in the midst of finalizing details for this location, but we are committed to having an Arc’teryx location in Denver,” a spokesperson told BusinessDen.
Brokers Kelly Greene and Pete Pavlakis with Legend Partners are marketing the space.
Arc’teryx, which was founded in 1989 as a brand for climbers, sells apparel such as insulated jackets and vests along with climbing gear like harnesses and chalk bags. Its logo and name refers to Archaeopteryx, one of the first birds.
Arc’teryx opened the Cherry Creek store in 2018. The company also recently signed a lease for a store in Boulder on Pearl Street, which has yet to open. It has an outlet in Castle Rock and a “Backcountry Experience” store in Durango.
The retailer recently got a new landlord in Cherry Creek. Texas-based Crescent Real Estate paid $82.75 million in August to buy the eight-story building at 200 Columbine St. and the retail space in the 250 Columbine condo complex from Denver-based Western Development Group, according to public records.
ST. LOUIS – There is still confusion over whether a mask mandate continues to exist in St. Louis County.
That after no final rulings were made this morning by the Judge overseeing the controversial St. Louis County mask mandate court case.
Judge Ellen “Nellie” Ribaudo held about a half-hour hearing with lawyers for Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt and attorneys for St. Louis County.
A key issue in the hearing was the impact of a ruling last week by Cole County Judge Daniel Green that bars local governing bodies from imposing COVID-19 health orders like mask mandates.
We’re told the ruling does not officially go into effect until later in December.
An attorney for St. Louis County, Neal Perryman, said county officials are still working through the ruling.
Perryman conceded that county officials took the masking order off the county website following the ruling by Judge Green and that the St. Louis County masking order could now be moot.
But Perryman would not go so far as to say that a mask mandate no longer exists in St. Louis County.
An attorney for Missouri Attorney General’s office, Jeff Johnson, argued it’s not enough that the order was taken down from the website because St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page said just yesterday that the mask mandate was still in effect in St. Louis County.
A spokesperson for AG Schmitt says Schmitt wants a preliminary injunction officially ending the second St. Louis County mask mandate announced by County Executive Dr. Sam Page back in September.
Officials with the AG’s office have filed a lawsuit contending the mandate is illegal under state law.
Judge Ribaudo set another meeting for December 9th so that attorneys on both sides could meet and try to work out the various issues that are still outstanding.
Meanwhile, the latest COVID numbers from the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force show local cases rising again.
The seven-day moving average of hospital admissions is at 48. The Task Force wants that number below 40.
The total number of COVID patients hospitalized is nearly 400. Earlier this month there were just above 250. 82 confirmed COVID patients are now in ICUs.
Less than three weeks ago that number was 53. And there are now 52 confirmed COVID patients on ventilators. Two weeks ago there were just 32.
Tragically 10 more people died from COVID in the latest numbers.
That has pushed our region into double-digit COVID deaths in a single day for the first time in more than two months.
The Pandemic Task Force is expected to address the latest COVID developments later today.
The mask mandate controversy is also on the agenda for tonight’s St. Louis County Council meeting.
The Ravens’ Week 15 home game against the Green Bay Packers has been pushed back to a 4:25 p.m. kickoff, the NFL announced Tuesday. Fox’s telecast of the game had been scheduled to start at 1 p.m. on Dec. 19.
The NFL uses “flexible scheduling” in Weeks 11-18, meaning that, after consultation with its broadcast partners, it can move games into prime-time or late-afternoon slots. The announcements are made no later than 12 days before the game.
The Ravens are 3-0 against NFC North teams this season, edging the Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears, but Green Bay should be the division’s stiffest test. The 9-3 Packers, led by reigning NFL Most Valuable Player Aaron Rodgers, have the NFC’s second-best record. On Sunday, they knocked off the Los Angeles Rams, 36-28, in Green Bay.
The Ravens’ Week 15 game will be second of three late-afternoon kickoffs in a five-week span. On Sunday and in Week 17, they face the Pittsburgh Steelers and Los Angeles Rams at 4:25 p.m.
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