Colts Game Tape: Indy's Rushing Attack

The Indianapolis Colts ran for 226 yards against the Broncos after two weeks when they didn't even break the 100-yard mark in team rushing. What was working for them? And on the few plays where they sputtered, what went wrong? We've got the answers and the details in this edition of Colts Game Tape.

After opening their season with 164 yards on the ground against the New Orleans Saints, the Indianapolis Colts only managed 173 yards combined against the Titans and Texans over the past two weeks. And they didn't go over 100 yards of total net rushing in either of those games.

Although they started out a bit slow on their first couple of runs against Denver, the Colts eventually dominated the game on the ground with a 6.1 yards-per-carry average, 18 rushing first downs and 2 touchdowns. Both Joseph Addai (136 yards) and Kenton Keith (80 yards) punished the Broncos defenders throughout the game, breaking off big plays of 10 yards or more nine times after posting just five over the first three weeks.

How did they do it? Let's get the answers from our analysis of this week's game tape. We've pulled out runs that qualified in three categories. If a run resulted in a gain of more than five yards and up to 10 yards, it graded out as an "effective" play. More than ten yards or more qualified as a "big play" while runs of 2 yards or less that didn't result in a first-down or touchdown were "ineffective" plays.

1st Quarter

1st Quarter
Situation: 2-2 DEN 27     Time Left: 0:04     Result/Grade:  6yards/Effective

The Play: Addai runs to the right guard spot of the line as right guard Jake Scott jumps out to take on a LB and right tackle Ryan Diem and center Jeff Saturday push their linemen away from Scott, opening up a nice big gap.

Key Blocks: Ryan Diem, Jeff Saturday

Whose Man? At the snap, Scott charges towards MLB D.J. Williams, but he trips, leaving Williams free to take down Addai.


2nd Quarter

Situation:  1-10 DEN 47     Time Left: 14:29     Result/Grade:  14 yards for a TD/Big Play

The Play: Addai hits a gap up the middle, breaks two tackles and gets hit again near the goal line, but gets in for the score. Left tackle Tony Ugoh, Saturday and Scott opened up the initial hole for Addai. Lilja went to the second level and only got a chip on his linebacker, but as that linebacker tried to take on Addai while he bursting past the line of scrimmage, he was off balance and actually bounced off Addai. Reggie Wayne did a terrific job of running a little slant out of the slot on the right side, keeping his arms extended while tangling with Dre' Bly, forcing him to backpedal eight yards to the goal line. In the process, he also steered him into Domonique Foxworth who was trying to get past Bly to come up and make contact with Addai.

Key Blocks: Left tackle Tony Ugoh, Saturday, Scott and Reggie Wayne


Situation:  1-10 IND 39     Time Left: 8:22     Result/Grade:  14 yards/Big Play

The Play: Addai heads left, but sees a wall of players with no one on either side giving much ground, so he cuts it back to the middle where the only players he has to worry about are being worked over handily by three Colts, allowing him to get into the third level.

Key Blocks: Tight end Dallas Clark (who was working out of the slot on the right side), Diem, Saturday


Situation:  1-10 IND 47     Time Left: 7:38     Result/Grade:  7 yards/Effective

The Play: Wide right sweep to the sidelines by Addai.

Key Blocks:  Wide receiver Aaron Moorehead (right side wide receiver)

Whose Man? Defensive back Domonique Foxworth makes the tackle, but there really wasn't a Colt in the area who wasn't tied up working on someone else. Middle linebacker D.J. Williams assisted with finishing Addai off after Foxworth had stalled him. Diem had done a nice job of blocking Williams initially until the play moved downfield and closer to the sidelines.



3rd Quarter

Situation:  1-10 IND 27     Time Left: 14:29     Result/Grade:  17 yards/Big Play

The Play: Addai starts left, but sees that Ugoh is struggling and cuts back right. And it's a good thing because the rest of the Colts blockers have annihilated the Broncos anywhere near him -- really. The pile of bodies on the ground was amazing.  As Addai crosses the line of scrimmage, there is only one Bronco player still standing and he falls down into the pile of players as well before he can get within 4 yards of the Colts' second-year back. Addai doesn't even have to stutter-step or make a running back move until he's 8 yards downfield and he sees safety Nick Ferguson approaching. He finally becomes the first Bronco to touch Addai -- 15 yards downfield. 

Key Blocks: Tight end Bryan Fletcher (who was on the end of line on the right), Diem, Scott, Saturday


Situation:  1-10 DEN 44     Time Left: 13:56     Result/Grade:  No gain/Ineffective

The Play: Addai heads towards the right offensive tackle area but trips and falls on his own.

Key Blocks: None


Situation:  1-10 DEN 23     Time Left: 12:56     Result/Grade:  12 yards/Big Play

The Play: Middle blast by Addai with the left side of the line getting a nice push and seal-off to give him a clean lane.

Key Blocks:  Ugoh, Lilja, Saturday


Situation:  1-10 DEN 11     Time Left: 12:19     Result/Grade:  10 yards/Effective

The Play: A wide left run that was almost blown-up by right defensive end Simeon Rice when tight end Bryan Fletcher (lined up on the left end) immediately flies off the line to attack the linebacker on that side while Ugoh pulls to block for the sweep, leaving the Denver defensive end unblocked. But he dives at Addai's heels and can't make the stop. Addai makes a nice cutback at the 5-yard line before being stopped just short of the goal-line.

Key Blocks:  None. While some Colts created congestion that Addai scooted through, none of the blocks were particularly outstanding. Addai made this play work.

Who's Man? Tight end Dallas Clark locked-up safety Nick Ferguson near the goal line, but Ferguson fought him off and helped make the tackle.  Linebacker D.J. Williams was the other Bronco in on the tackle. Lilja squared himself in front of Williams out in the second level to try to keep him from getting over to the sideline, but Williams used a nifty swim move and continued his pursuit of Addai, laying the most solid hit on him at the one-yard line. 


Situation:  2-6 DEN 15     Time Left: 10:17     Result/Grade:  8 yards/Effective

The Play: Middle blast by Addai.

Key Blocks:  Ugoh, Lilja

Who's Man? This one was no one's fault. Linebacker Nate Webster didn't bite on the decoy receiver the Colts ran past him, so by staying at home and reading it as a run, he just made a good play -- eight yards downfield.


Situation:  1-10 DEN 23     Time Left: 12:56     Result/Grade:  12 yards/Big Play

The Play: Middle blast by Addai.

Key Blocks:  Ugoh, Lilja, Saturday

Who's Man? Safeties had to come up to stop Addai, so no one caused this play to short-circuit. 


ColtPower Insiders can get the game tape analysis of the exciting fourth quarter with 9 more plays that qualified for grading and analysis along with our summary comments, key-block totals and more! 

Click here for the rest of this feature.

Colts Blitz Top Stories