Most of the Indianapolis Colts‘ fans were very frustrated with the play calling that new offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton had. He vowed to be a run first team despite having one of the best quarterback’s in the NFL in Andrew Luck. Hamilton coached Luck in college and knew his strengths.
Head coach Chuck Pagano stood by Hamilton, saying to win in the NFL you have to establish a run and be solid on the ground. That wasn’t working after the first two games this season, and some were questioning how much longer they should keep those two.
After today’s 27-7 victory over the San Francisco 49ers those concerns will be locked away forever. They kept saying give it time to get everyone to gel and it will work. With many players out of this game no one expected it to work this quickly.
Newly acquired running back Trent Richardson scored a touchdown on the Colts’ first possession and rushed for 35 yards on 13 carries. He shared time with Ahmad Bradshaw in the backfield today as Bradshaw rushed for 95 yards and a touchdown of his own on 19 carries.
That smash-mouth line of football and excellent play calling saw the Colts rush for a total of 179 yards and three touchdowns on 39 attempts today against the 49ers. Luck ran for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter and had 24 yards on four rushes as well. The only other guy to make a rushing attempt today was Donald Brown who had 25 yards on three carries.
The Colts may have found something with a two-headed rushing attack. Both Richardson and Bradshaw are power running backs with tons of talent. They can create their own holes and make gains out of nothing. Having two backs means they can be well rested in the game and have fresh legs. Neither rushed for over 20 attempts today which kept them with full energy all the way through.
Now with seeing how effective the running game can be against one of the most physical defenses in the league, can this dual attack mixed with a healthy blend of Luck, Reggie Wayne, T.Y. Hilton and Darrius Heyward-Bey through the air land the Colts in the Super Bowl this February?
If they play at this level the answer is yes.
Eric Smith is the Colts Beat Writer for Rant Sports. He’s covered the team the last four seasons and is recognized as an accredited member of the media by the Colts. Follow him on Twitter @ericsportsguru