The Indianapolis Colts started off the season with a victory over the Oakland Raiders, but it wasn’t as easy as some thought it may have been. Quarterback Andrew Luck had to lead his team on a fourth quarter game-winning drive, ending with a 19-yard scamper into the end zone by the second year pro.
That 19-yard touchdown run was part of a 127-yard day on the ground by the Colts, led by running back Vick Ballard going for 63 yards on 13 carries. New Colts running back Ahmad Bradshaw was also worked into the system and gained 26 yards on seven carries. Luck finished with 38 yards on six carries.
On the flip side, the Raiders rushed for 171 yards against a Colts defense that looked pretty bad overall on Sunday. Quarterback Terrelle Pryor gashed them for 112 yards on 13 carries, while running back Darren McFadden put up just 48 yards on 17 carries.
In week two, the Colts square off against the Miami Dolphins who are coming off an abysmal rushing performance against the Cleveland Browns, however they got themselves a victory in the end. In this matchup next Sunday, the team who runs the ball the best should pull out the ‘W.’
Ryan Tannehill threw for 272 yards and a touchdown, but I have a feeling that Luck will outshine his fellow sophomore passer on Sunday. With the Dolphins coming off of a 20-yard rushing performance in week one — yes, you read that correctly — the Colts have a great chance of topping Miami.
With Ballard establishing him as a number one option if needed and Bradshaw working his way toward more carries, the Colts could have themselves a formidable duo in the back field. Miami, on the other hand, is searching for an identity in the run game. Will it be Lamar Miller or Daniel Thomas to step up and earn the majority of carries?
The Colts will have to go to their run game early on and make sure not to abandon it throughout the contest, giving Luck the best opportunity to succeed in the passing game. As we know, a run game keeps the defense honest and if Luck can have that happen, he’ll be all the more successful at his job.