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Indianapolis Colts

Is Colts Physical Running Nature Here To Stay?

Intro: In last Sunday’s win over the Broncos, the Colts relied on a committed ground attack for 40 carries and more than 38 minutes of possession. That style will be needed with Matt Hasselbeck back under center.


INDIANAPOLIS – It's not often athletes turn the microphones on the media and pose a question to that contingent.

It happened though following the Colts 27-24 victory over the Broncos in front of Frank Gore's locker.

With plenty of national media attending the Colts/Broncos Week Nine matchup, they had just witnessed a team turn in their most impressive performance of 2015.

They were confused.

Was this the Colts team so many had thought would be seen throughout the 2015 season?

"Be real, when you all watch film, we also help the other team," Gore said, stressing the importance of the Colts clean turnover sheet resulting in a win over Denver.

"We are not a suck team. We just can't beat ourselves."

The Colts did not beat themselves against Denver.

Instead, they relied on a balanced attack led by Gore's 28 carries (the most for him since 2011) and 40 team rushes (the most for the Colts since September 2014).

Keeping the ball for more than 38 minutes of the game came against the league's top-ranked defense.

"We kept it balanced. We chipped away in the running game, even though we didn't get big gains," Gore said after the victory.

"They say we (aren't) physical, I feel like were physical (Sunday). My O-line was blocking, being physical."

This sort of style is something the Colts are going to count on when they return from their bye week.

Gore is coming off back-to-back games where he carried the ball 50 times.

It was his highest consecutive carry output since Weeks Four and Five (39 carries).

Those wins over Jacksonville and Houston were also when Matt Hasselbeck was under center.

For the Colts to continue to have offensive success with Hasselbeck back leading the offense, production from the running game is a must.

With Gore still leading the Colts run game, Hasselbeck will also have the services of Ahmad Bradshaw on third-down, something the veteran quarterback didn't have back in Weeks Four and Five.

"It's a great 1-2 punch right now," Chuck Pagano says of Gore and Bradshaw.

"Frank is our bell cow, so to speak, as a runner. Ahmad has been outstanding on third down for us. He's a third-down protector. Then we know how productive he was a year ago before he got hurt out of the backfield. It's not just a guy that's going to stay in there and protect, but you got to account for Ahmad on third down, not only protecting, but making plays out of the backfield on check-downs and screens and things like that."

What the Colts have in Gore and Bradshaw is a type of running style they've been trying to build.

They hope to show Sunday's "ground and pound" is no fluke.

"All the coaches had been emphasizing that (physicality) all week," center Jonotthan Harrison said.

"We have to be physical to run the ball."

A look behind the scenes at the Colts pregame and postgame routine.

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