Two-Headed Rushing Monster Ready for Stretch Run

Intro: The Colts two-headed rushing monster that they will take into the stretch run of the regular season isn’t what it looked like for much of 2013. However, that doesn’t mean the group can’t be productive with six regular season games remaining.

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INDIANAPOLIS— Up until the end of the 2013 OTAs, the two-head monster in the Colts backfield appeared to be Vick Ballard and Donald Brown.

Then came the addition of Ahmad Bradshaw in mid-June who brought a resume with 1,000-yard seasons to the returning backs.

An ACL injury to Ballard moved the two-head monster to Bradshaw and Brown for Week Two of the regular season.

The trade for Trent Richardson came on Sept. 18 as the Colts were preparing to take on the San Francisco 49ers later that week.

It appeared that Richardson and Bradshaw would be the main guys moving forward but life in the NFL once again humbled the Colts backfield.

A neck injury to Bradshaw eventually ended his season and now here the Colts are with Richardson and Brown the current two-headed monster.

 

With the month of December approaching, Chuck Pagano likes what he has for a running game the team will lean on over the next six weeks and beyond.

"I think we obviously have a really good situation right now with Trent and Donald. Donald had an exceptional football game (Thursday) and he's been playing well this entire season and doing a great job for us," Pagano says.

"You look at Trent's runs, for whatever reason, there's penetration, a guy is pulling and falls down, there's a guy in the backfield waiting there. He had some really good runs, plays that he made in space, screens, things like that he does a great job with. I think the way we're going with those two guys has been productive for both players. A guy gets hot, you can always go with the hot hand but I like the way we're doing things now."

Brown is coming off a 14-carry, 80-yard performance and is averaging 5.9 yards per carry (55 carries for 323 yards) in 2013.

The 5.9 yards per carry for Brown is second among the top 70 running backs in rush attempts this season.

"He's playing really well," Pagano says of Brown. "Running hard, hitting the hole, breaking tackles, yards after contact. We all know out in space, he's a dynamic guy, can take it the distance when he gets loose."

Now, the next step for the Colts rushing attack is getting Richardson's numbers see a rise in the season's final six weeks.

With some of the game's top defenses remaining on the schedule, a potent one-two punch will be needed for the Colts to secure a division title and home field advantage.

That means seeing a rise in Richardson's production.

"He's making the right reads, he's doing all the right things, he knows what to do. He played great without the ball, protection-wise, those things," Pagano says of Richardson.

"Trent's numbers are going to come. He's a damn good player. He's a damn good back. He hasn't been here as long as our other guys have been here. And I'm not making any excuses for him. He won't make any excuses for himself. We're going to stay patient and he's going to have a breakout game. His numbers will increase. His numbers will come. His yards will come."

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