Colts Game Tape 2: Indy's Rushing Attack

Check out the nine fourth-quarter rushing plays that qualified for grading during our game tape analysis and our summary of the Colts' rushing attack based on hours of game tape analysis.

If you haven't seen the first three quarters of analysis, click here and then return to this feature.

4th Quarter

Situation:  1-10 IND 27     Time Left: 15:00     Result/Grade:  13 yards/Big Play

The Play: Yet another middle blast without hesitation by Addai, but it's almost blown up when Ugoh has some problems holding off his attacker on the left side.

Key Blocks: Lilja, Saturday

Who's Man?  Jake Scott was tangling with Nate Webster, but the Broncos linebacker broke free to make the tackle downfield.


Situation:  1-10 DEN 40     Time Left: 14:30     Result/Grade:  7 yards/Effective

The Play: Addai starts left, but makes a nice cutback move to the right. He gets hurt on the play.

Key Blocks: Scott, Fletcher (who was the tight end on the right side)

Who's man?  You could point a finger at Dallas Clark on this one as Champ Bailey was covering him. But in fairness, the Denver cornerback was giving him a 5-yard cushion and ran diagonally to the ball carrier forcing Clark to chase him, and then a safety came up to help as well. 


Situation:  1-20 DEN 36     Time Left: 12:46     Result/Grade:  22 yards/Big Play

The Play: Kenton Keith takes a delay draw to the left and Tony Ugoh makes his best play of the day. At the snap, Ugoh shoves defensive end Elvis Dumervil into the backfield out of the range of Keith, and then he takes off to the left as a lead blocker. He takes on Broncos defender downfield, allowing Keith to tack on 6 more yards to his run.

Key Blocks:  Ugoh, Lilja, Saturday, Moorehead


Situation:  1-10 DEN 14     Time Left: 12:19     Result/Grade:  1 yard/Ineffective

The Play: Keith tries the middle, but a standing stalemate between linemen forces him right, where there just isn't much room either.

Key Blocks:  None.

Who's Man? Diem can't hold off Dumervil while the pair moves laterally towards Keith and Champ Bailey joins in from the corner position.


Situation:  2-9 DEN 13     Time Left: 11:41     Result/Grade:  8 yards/Effective

The Play: Middle run with a slight cut to the right by Keith. Lilja pulled from the left and crossed to the right in front of Keith, taking out two Denver blockers that had a shot at stopping Keith near the line of scrimmage.

Key Blocks:  Diem, Lilja (2)

Who's Man? Tight end Bryan Fletcher was the tight end on the right side of the line. He lost his block downfield on safety Nick Ferguson who made the stop.


Situation:  2-10 IND 20     Time Left: 8:30     Result/Grade:  13 yards/Big Play

The Play: Middle inside burst by Keith.

Key Blocks:  Lilja, Saturday, Scott

Who's Man? Safeties had to come up to stop Keith.  


Situation:  1-10 IND 46     Time Left: 7:12     Result/Grade:  11 yards/Big Play

The Play: Keith tries to run wide right, but Diem is kicking his man out there, so he cuts inside of Diem's left shoulder. Fortunately, Saturday has moved laterally and sealed off the inside.

Key Blocks:  Saturday


Situation:  3-1 DEN 22     Time Left: 3:41     Result/Grade:  9 yards/Effective

The Play:  Keith blasts up the middle through a nice gap created by Saturday and Scott.

Key Blocks:  Scott, Saturday

Who's Man? Diem attacked the second level looking for linebacker Jamie Winborn, but Winborn bounced off the Colts offensive tackle and went in pursuit of Keith and caught up to him.


Situation:  3-3 DEN 6     Time Left: 2:42     Result/Grade:  2 yards/Ineffective

The Play: Fullback Luke Lawton takes the handoff and runs behind right guard Jake Scott.

Key Blocks:  None.

Who's Man? Lilja made contact with defensive tackle Marcus Thomas who pushed him away and came across to make the hit on Lawton.


Rushing Attack Game Tape Summary

Out of 37 runs, 24 percent of them resulted in gains of more than 10 yards. Another 16 percent were effective gains of 6-10 yards while only 8 percent resulted in an ineffective gain of 2 yards or less (remember, other short gains that resulted in a score or first down had a positive impact and didn't qualify for that grade). 

Colts running back Joseph Addai
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Indy had the most success running through the middle, and once they realized that, they pounded the mismatch with the Denver line throughout the second half. Ten of their graded runs went through the interior line area with six resulting in big plays with 3 grading out as effective. At times, the Colts reaped success through the middle by default, finding the outside areas stacked up, forcing the runner to the inside.

Only two graded runs went left, one effective gain, the other one -- the delay draw to Keith - resulting in the biggest single run of the day for 22 yards. But for the most part, the left side wasn't an area of opportunity with veteran Simeon Rice getting good push overall against rookie Tony Ugoh. But to Ugoh's credit, Rice had a pretty quiet day even when he managed to get into the Colts backfield, making just one tackle.

The right side of the Colts line had erratic results with graded 7 runs reflecting that fact. Three runs to that side received the only ineffective ratings of the day, with Addai's stumble causing one of them. They also logged 2 effective runs and 2 big plays to that side. Jake Scott didn't appear to be up to his usual level of consistency, although he threw a number of key blocks as well.

As for key blocks, one lineman stood out. And with the success the Colts had in the middle, it shouldn't be a surprise that it was Pro Bowl center Jeff Saturday, who was graded out in our analysis with 11 key blocks. Ryan Lilja posted seven while his counterpart on the right side, Jake Scott, was credited with six. Rookie Tony Ugoh actually graded out on these plays with five compared to veteran right tackle Ryan Diem's four. The receivers and tight ends contributed some key blocks as well with Aaron Moorehead and Bryan Fletcher each earning two key blocks while Dallas Clark and Reggie Wayne each contributed one.

Bottom line, it took the Colts a while to spot the area that provided them with their best success -- right up the middle -- but once they found it, they made it work and the Broncos struggled to find a way to defend it, despite a pretty strong game overall by middle linebacker D.J. Williams who posted 13 tackles on the day.

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