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Colts Film Breakdown: Marlon Mack’s 22-Yard Touchdown Run

Posted Oct 9, 2017

Intro: Each week Colts.com will take a look at a significant play from the previous week’s contest. This week’s installment examines Marlon Mack exploiting one simple overpursuit by a 49ers defender and turning it into a 22-yard touchdown run.

INDIANAPOLIS — This week’s film breakdown looks at running back Marlon Mack’s sensational 22-yard touchdown run in the third quarter of Sunday’s overtime victory over the San Francisco 49ers.

Here’s the All-22 development of Mack’s second-career touchdown run:

PRE SNAP

After trading field goals for the first 42-plus minutes of Sunday’s game, the Indianapolis Colts were setting themselves up to possibly reach the end zone for the first time all afternoon. After a big sack on third down on the previous 49ers possession by Jabaal Sheard, San Francisco was forced to punt, setting up the Colts from their own 40. Two plays later, quarterback Jacoby Brissett hit running back Frank Gore for 33-yard screen play, and then Mack got to the 22-yard line with an 11-yard run to the right end. With 3:26 left in the third quarter, the Colts faced a 1st and 10 from the 22, leading 9-6. The Colts line up in the I-formation with tight end Darrell Daniels as the fullback and Mack as the tailback, with wide receivers T.Y. Hilton (to the right) and Donte Moncrief (to the left) lined out wide, and tight end Brandon Williams put into motion to the right side of the offensive line. The 49ers show a 3-4 look with man coverage, with Lorenzo Jerome as the single-high safety and fellow safety Jaquiski Tartt lined up showing a blitz off the right side of the offensive line.

THE RUN

What makes this play possible, first, is the fact that Tartt completely overshoots his gap, instead drifting over to the gap covered by Williams, who goes to block linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong up the middle. Mack, who originally gets the handoff to the left, immediately sees this gap covered up and sticks his left foot in the turf around the 26-yard line before darting towards a huge hole to his right, where Tartt is supposed to be. From there, Mack outruns defensive lineman Arik Armstead and hits the next level, where Hilton is engaged in a block with cornerback Jimmie Ward along the right sideline, and Jerome, who also originally bit on the run to the left, is quickly closing in. But a mixture of Hilton’s block on Ward, as well as a little nifty stiff arm by Mack on Jerome, causes the two 49ers defenders to collide with each other around the 10-yard line.

THE SCORE

From there, all Mack needed to do was maintain his speed, stay in bounds along the sideline and get into the end zone for his second-career rushing touchdown, extending the Colts’ lead to 16-6. The rookie Mack tallied the best performance of his young career on Sunday, running the ball nine times for 91 yards — the most for a Colts rookie running back since Dec. 16, 2012 (Vick Ballard; 105) — and this touchdown, and nearly had another terrific touchdown run in the fourth quarter, getting to the one-yard line. His 35-yard run in overtime, meanwhile, helped set up Adam Vinatieri’s eventual game-winning 51-yard touchdown.

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