Denver Broncos running back C.J. Anderson entered Week 16 only 142 yards shy of achieving the first 1,000-yard rushing season of his career. Playing against the Washington Redskins, who ranked 29th in the NFL in rush defense offered a prime opportunity for Anderson to take a huge step towards the 1,000-yard milestone.

Despite dropping their 10th game of the season in a 27-11 loss, Anderson now has the mark within reach heading into the final week of the season. His 88 yards on the ground (16 carries) at FedEx Field leaves him 54 short with one game to play. Anderson had a pair of 21-yard runs in the game. He added 45 yards in the passing game (Denver’s No. 2 receiver in the game) to total 133 yards for the day.

Anderson was coming off a 158-yard rushing performance in a Week 15 win against the Colts that put the mark within reach.

The Broncos fed Anderson frequently to begin the game, as he entered halftime with 70 rushing yards on 12 carries, nearly halfway to his target of 142. Unfortunately for Anderson, the game began to shift in Washington’s favor in the second half. The Broncos’ defense began to tire and Kirk Cousins and the Washington offense controlled the ball for much of the third quarter. The Broncos possessed the ball only twice in the third quarter, where Anderson rushed twice for two yards.

Anderson salvaged his quiet second half in the fourth quarter, adding some garbage time rushing yards and a late touchdown to finish out the game. As the Broncos trailed 20-3 at the start of the fourth quarter, they leaned on quarterback Brock Osweiler trying to catch up.

As the Broncos suffered their 10th loss of the season, Anderson finished the game with 16 rushes for 88 rushing yards and a last minute rushing touchdown. He also contributed in the passing game, finishing second on the team in receiving yards, recording seven receptions for 45 receiving yards. Sadly, despite the effort, those receiving yards will not aid Anderson is his pursuit of 1,000 rushing yards on the season.

Anderson ran hard all game, consistently fighting for every precious yard by dragging defenders and shedding arm tackles by the Redskins’ linebackers. Anderson displayed burst and quick, one-cut acceleration that has really come on strong in the later part of the season. While the Broncos offensive line didn’t dominate the line of scrimmage as they did last week against the Indianapolis Colts,  the unit did open up various holes for Anderson. The offensive line looked particularly good in both of Anderson’s 21-yard bursts, as Anderson had huge running lanes on both big plays.

Spelling Anderson on occasion was primarily Devontae Booker, who rushed 8 times for 47 yards as he continues to carve out a role in the Broncos’ backfield. Booker, much like Anderson, displayed quick cuts and smooth acceleration. Booker also contributed 5 catches for 24 receiving yards.

As the Broncos lost their tenth game of the season, Anderson’s chances at 1,000 rushing yards took a small step forward, as he now sits at 946 yards on the season..

Next week, the Broncos will wrap up their 2017 season against the Kansas City Chiefs, who also struggle against the run allowing 122.9 yards per game. As the Broncos look to finish the season on a high note, Anderson will have an opportunity to mark his name in Broncos history, hoping to become only the 15th running back in Denver Broncos history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season.