Indianapolis Colts: Running Game Silently Key in Victory Over Tennessee Titans

By Eric Smith

No one really talked about the Indianapolis Colts’ rushing attack today during their 19-13 victory over the Tennessee Titans. Thanks to the heroic overtime touchdown run after a great screen pass by Andrew Luck to Vick Ballard, no one will still notice. They will look at the great victory on the last play or look to the Colts winning their first road game in almost two years.

What everyone will fail to notice and give credit to is a solid running game from the backfield. The Colts final rushing statistics was 34 rushing attempts for 171 yards and a touchdown. That’s not just a good day, but a great day. Anytime a team can get 171 yards on the ground they’re usually going to win.

That helped the playaction for Luck as the Titans were getting a fairly good pass rush. The offensive line failed to give Luck much time when he went back to straight up pass. He was hurried all day and was sacked twice. If it wasn’t for Luck’s ability to get out of the pocket and either scramble or extend plays, they would have lost.

Add the rushing attack getting five yards per carry and that kept the Titans defense at bay. The Colts worked nearly all playaction passes in the second half and used that play to hit Reggie Wayne on a game saving first down, and Ballard on the game winning touchdown.

Give the Titans credit for doing their homework and getting a good pass rush. But also give Colts’ coaching staff credit on calling a good game and not exploiting their inability to block the pass rush.

Donald Brown returned to action after missing the last two games and led the team in rushing with 80 yards on only 14 carries. Ballard, who got his third straight start, was solid in getting 55 yards on only 12 carries. Delone Carter was a great third option in getting big yards on two gut wrenching carries with finishing with eight yards on two carries.

Carter and the offensive line came up big deep in the Titans territory on fourth and one  with a crucial first down late in the fourth quarter. That set up a Carter touchdown with just over three minutes left in regulation.

If the ground game can continue to get yardage like this, the Colts are going to be a dangerous team the rest of the season. Give all the credit to the run game in the win today.

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