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Broncos' Rookie RB Javonte Williams Leads NFL in Forced Missed Tackles

Javonte Williams continues to roll through defenses like a bowling ball with butcher knives.

Advanced analytics from publications like Pro Football Focus reveal that Denver Broncos rookie running back Javonte Williams leads the entire NFL with a forced tackle rate of 37%. He has a whopping 35 forced missed tackles on the season. For context, the next closest ball-carrier has 21 forced missed tackles.

Good Morning Football's 'Angry Runs' will likely have another scepter to give  Williams but Denver's 21-year-old running back might want to share it with rookie teammate Quinn Meinrez for providing a notable assist on Sunday.

Broncos Country has been demanding that Williams receives more carries, but that does a considerable disservice to veteran stablemate Melvin Gordon and the wisdom of employing a twin-back attack. While more national recognition is coming Williams' way, fans need only cast their minds back to Sunday’s physical dismantling of the Dallas Cowboys to prove that two good backs are better than one. As the Dallas defense wore down, both Gordon and Williams continued to feast. 

Broncos' starting left guard Dalton Risner insists his banged-up shoulder won’t keep him out of Week 10's matchup vs. the Philadelphia Eagles but no doubt, he's desperate to play. The guys upfront tend to feed when the objective is to move straight ahead and block for a tackle-breaking phenom like Williams.

“I love blocking for that dude," Risner said. "I don’t think anybody knows how special No.33 is, but he’s a very special football player... For a lot of offensive linemen, we’ve been around a lot of guys, and we all agree that guy is very special.”

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Sunday was not only a coming-out party for Williams as he registered the first career 100-yard rushing game of his career, but also rookies like Meinerz, OLB Jonathon Cooper, S Caden Sterns, and LB Baron Browning. The collective performance of these rookies further illustrates the drafting prowess of Broncos' first-year GM George Paton whose nuts-and-bolts commitment to team building could prove to be a unique selling point for prospective free agents this coming offseason.

Head coach Vic Fangio touched on Paton's draft process which identified Williams, and despite many questioning the GM's move to trade up in the second round to grab the former North Carolina star, Pookie's bruising performances have come as no surprise.

“No. That’s what you saw on college tape," Fangio said on Monday. "That he’s doing it so well and so early—maybe, but we expected that. I can remember many of us commenting in the OTAs part of the offseason and training camp when things aren’t live. He wasn’t giving you the ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ plays then because his ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ plays, as you’ve seen, come on contact and running through tackles.”

As the Broncos' 2021 campaign nears the stretch run, like all of Williams' potential tacklers, fans will be along for the ride. 

Follow Keith on Twitter @KeithC_NFL.

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