Through the first two preseason games, the Denver Broncos offense has not looked too different from the offense of recent years — pass happy. While it was widely believed that the Broncos would be a run-heavy offense this season, powered by C.J. Anderson, there have been no signs of that so far.

That was, until the third preseason game.

After having 89 pass attempts through the first two games, compared to 53 rushing attempts, the Broncos took a much different approach in game three, starting with six straight rushing attempts. They didn’t attempt their first pass until there was 1:01 left in the first quarter. After the game quarterback Trevor Siemian said that this was the plan all along, which was echoed by starting running back C.J. Anderson.

“We started off trying to establish (the running game) early,” said Anderson after the game Saturday.

But it shouldn’t be a huge surprise that the Broncos offense did a 180 on Saturday night. They were preparing themselves for the regular season. In the first two games, head coach Gary Kubiak made it clear that he wanted to see what each quarterback could do in the passing game — hence, the reason for all the pass attempts.

On Saturday night, Kubiak wanted to see what the offense would actually look like in the regular season. In the first half, the Broncos had 17 pass attempts compared to 13 rushing attempts; however, by the end of the game, Denver had 30 pass attempts to 33 rushing attempts — a very balanced attack.

“We were trying to run the ball and we didn’t run the ball well. We got going, did some things before the half was over,” said Kubiak after the game Saturday.

Regardless of who is the starting quarterback, it’s clear that the offense will rely heavily on the running game to help aid the quarterback. Not only will the running game be called upon to move the ball down the field, but it’ll also be crucial to setting up the most potent pass in the Kubiak offense — the play-action bootleg. This was the play that set up Denver’s only touchdown in the first half — a 1-yard, play-action touchdown pass from Trevor Siemian to Virgil Green.

While the quarterback battle remains murky, Kubiak made it very clear by his actions on Saturday night that the offensive will be a run-first unit. If it works out, hopefully it won’t matter too much who’s starting at quarterback.