Running Game Crucial for Andrew Luck and Indianapolis Colts in 2013

By Devin O'Barr
Andrew Luck Hands Off Vick To Ballard
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

It has been said that an NFL quarterback’s best friend is a solid running game. In my mind, the Indianapolis Colts can win the AFC South in 2013 if they can pose a threat on the ground.

Had it not been for a stellar season from Robert Griffin III, I have no doubt Andrew Luck would have brought the Colts some Rookie of the Year hardware this winter. There was a learning curve for the first-overall pick, but after winning 11 games following a 2-14 season, the team has to feel accomplished and incredibly excited for the future.

I have no reason to doubt Vick Ballard, who ran for 814 yards with the Colts in his rookie season; however, he will have an increased load in 2013, and must avoid the dreaded sophomore slump. Ballard also dazzled in the postseason with 91 yards on the ground versus a Ray Lewis-led Baltimore Ravens defense.

Luck is a once-in-a-decade type of talent and in order for him to live up to the hype that he’s been placed atop his head, he will need a running game to rely on. While Luck may enjoy dropping back over 50 times a game, the Colts will not win in January without a legitimate back behind him.

Chuck Pagano has said he wants to improve the teams 3-4 defense, so don’t be surprised if the 24th overall pick goes to the defensive side–the Colts must make a conservative effort to establish a running game in 2013, whether it be with Ballard or someone else.

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