OAKLAND, Calif. — The Indianapolis Colts could get used to this.
Prior to Sunday's game against the Oakland Raiders, you'd have to go back more than three decades to find the last time the Colts ran for 200 yards in consecutive contests, but that's just what Marlon Mack & Co. have been able to do the last two weeks, the most recent example being the team's 222 rushing yards in Sunday's 42-28 road victory over the Oakland Raiders at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
Mack, the second-year back, led the charge with 132 rushing yards, his second straight game (and the first two occurrences of his career) surpassing the 100-yard mark.
The team’s season-high 222 rushing yards against the Raiders comes on the heels of its 220 yards last week in a 37-5 win over the Buffalo Bills. It’s the first time the Colts have rushed for at least 200 yards in back to back games in the same season since 1985.
Mack also became the first Colts running back to eclipse 100 yards rushing in consecutive games since Joseph Addai did it — also in his sophomore season — in 2007.
"It's a great accomplishment," Mack said following the game. "But shout out to the guys that helped me get there once again; O-linemen, tight ends and receivers. So, shout out to them and hopefully, we keep this thing rollin'."
After setting a handful of personal single-game career bests last week, Mack took no time at all already leap-frogged them, earning his 132 rushing yards Sunday on 25 carries and scoring twice on the ground — all new career highs. He also had the longest run of his career with a 49-yard scamper in the third quarter.
"Just patient, explosive, tough — I mean, just running tough," Colts head coach Frank Reich said after the game, describing Mack's running style. "He's getting tough yards, he's getting explosive yards.
Since returning from a nagging hamstring injury last week, Mack has really made a difference, Reich said.
"He's seeing it well, trusting it," Reich said. "He's just been playing really well, and playing great in the pass game; doing great in protection. Honestly, at first I thought when he came back, we should keep him out of some pass situations, but he's doing great in pass situations and protections as well."
Rookie running backs Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins also contributed to the Colts’ gashing of the Raiders; Hines with 11 carries for a career-high 78 yards (7.1 avg) and Wilkins with 14 yards on two carries (7.0 avg).
Hines found success on Sunday utilizing both speed and physicality, which is all the more impressive considering his 5-foot-9 frame.
"I mean, it was unreal," Reich said of Hines' physical nature. "We know he's tough, but he got tough inside yards today. (He) just seemed to not go down; spinnin', turnin', fightin' for the extra yards. It was fun to watch him get that kind of yardage."
Sunday’s effort by the Colts offense helped them dominate time of possession, 36:30 to 23:30, and stay in the game after losing momentum and falling behind by eight points in the second half.
The Colts now have three wins on the season and have performed well on the ground in all three. In those three contests — Week 2 against the Washington Redskins, Week 7 against the Bills and Sunday against the Raiders — the Colts are averaging 35 carries for 182 yards and have rushed for four total touchdowns.