By Zack Kelberman
(247 SPORTS) – Another week, another milestone for Phillip Lindsay.
The Denver Broncos’ fast-rising rookie running back and budding star set an NFL record in Sunday’s victory over the Oakland Raiders, becoming the first undrafted player to log 100-plus scrimmage yards in each of his first two games, the league announced.
Lindsay totaled 14 carries for 107 yards and added one catch for four yards against Oakland. Last week, the former Colorado standout tied for a team-high 71 rushing yards on 15 carries while chipping in two catches for 31 yards and a touchdown — the first undrafted rookie in Denver history to score on a touchdown reception in a season-opener.
This would be a big deal to any kid, regardless of draft status. But Lindsay isn’t your typical kid. He’s wise well beyond his 24 years.
“I don’t think of things like that,” he said of the record. “For me, it’s a great opportunity to go out there. I’m just happy that we got the ‘W’ and now it’s on to the next (game).”
For the second straight game, Lindsay looked like the Broncos’ best running back. And it’s not be a stretch to say he is the best, with respect to third-rounder and de facto starter Royce Freeman, who finished with 28 yards and a TD on eight carries. He’s certainly surpassed Devontae Booker, who had three carries for 17 yards, no matter what the depth chart says.
The club continues to put its faith in the hot hand, and Lindsay’s are scorching.
“He is a good football player, not only as a running back, but as a guy who covers kicks for us and as a guy who catches the football for us,” Broncos coach Vance Joseph said, per the Denver Post. “He’s the total package football player. He’s been really impressive.”
Lindsay has drawn comparisons to Darren Sproles in that he’s a shifty change-of-pace back lacking the frame (5-8, 190) to succeed as a workhorse. But that’s not necessarily true. He pinballed off Raiders defenders and shed tackle attempts. He consistently fell forward and churned yardage between the tackles.
Title is irrelevant given his unique skillset.
“I am here to be our spark player,” he said Sunday evening. “I am here to make sure that I get my teammates going, whether it is on a punt, if it is on a kickoff or kickoff return, anything. I am going to do what I have to to get our team moving.”
PHOTO GALLERY: Broncos 20, Raiders 19
Through two weeks of a still-infantile season, Lindsay ranks third in the NFL with 178 rushing yards. It’s baffling that 32 teams, including the Broncos, deemed him unworthy of a draft pick. And it’s fortunate that he landed on his hometown club which just so happened to be remodeling its backfield.
Fortunate for whom? Well …
“It’s just a great opportunity to be here. I can’t thank (general manager) Mr. Elway enough for letting me be a part of this organization,” Lindsay said.