The Indianapolis Colts were fed up with Trent Richardson’s ineffectiveness, so they decided to give more carries to No. 2 back Donald Brown. The result was a monstrous performance on Thursday Night Football last week against the rival Tennessee Titans, and Brown’s performance was probably the biggest reason why the Colts won 30-27. He was instrumental in essentially locking up the AFC South for the Colts, and it will be interesting to see if the Colts reward Brown with more carries going forward.
They have already made it clear that they aren’t going to give up on T-Rich yet, as they traded a first-round pick to the Cleveland Browns earlier this season in order to actually obtain Richardson. Although he has been awful this season with an average of three yards per carry, there’s still a chance that his raw talent finally breaks through.
So it’s not surprising to hear offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton state that the Colts are not going to change their approach either way, via ESPN NFL Nation’s Mike Wells, ”We don’t plan on changing our rotation with our backs. We’ve always been a running back by committee bunch, so we’re going to continue to do that.”
The committee approach is going to change, but it’s still worth watching whether or not Brown pulls away in the number of carries he receives. Due to Brown’s success on the ground, Richardson can no longer claim blocking as a defense of his play. Both Chuck Pagano and Richardson himself spoke confidently about his play, but I don’t think they’ll be nearly as confident if Richardson continues to struggle once the Colts are in the playoffs. Tomorrow’s battle against the Arizona Cardinals run defense will tell us how game Brown is, and it just might be a chance for Richardson to make his first statement of the season.