The Indianapolis Colts ranked 29th in the league in rushing yards per game last season. With upgrades along the offensive line, the team hopes to see consistency in the running game in 2016.
The Indianapolis Colts brought in veteran running back Frank Gore during the 2015 NFL Free Agency period with hopes that he would help to shore of the team’s lackluster running game and could become the club’s first 1,000-yard rusher since Joseph Addai in 2006.
Things never went as planned however, as Gore wasn’t able to produce to the fullest of his abilities. Despite starting in all 16 games for the Colts last season, the 32-year-old back amassed 967 yards with six touchdowns on the ground.
Given Gore’s age and the fact that the careers of NFL running backs usually decline once they reach their thirty’s, his season could be seen as a success despite him not having much of a supporting cast in 2015.
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The Colts’ offensive line was in the bottom-tier of the league last season — which was quite evident to anyone who followed the team throughout the course of the year. Even still, Gore was able to have a type of season that the Colts haven’t seen from a running back in quite some time.
Now, with the team’s use of the 18th-overall selection on center Ryan Kelly from Alabama — as well as multiple other picks addressing the offensive line — a unit that has plagued the team’s ability to effectively run the ball for years could now possibly shape up to help the running game.
A consistent running attack would prove to be extremely beneficial to a Colts team that has relied heavily on quarterback Andrew Luck ever since the Colts drafted him No. 1 overall in 2012. It would take away the one-dimensional offense of a team that has grown used to throwing the ball 50 times a game, as opposed to running no more than ten times.
As it had been mentioned earlier, Gore has proven that he can still be a reliable and effective piece in the running game with a sub-par offensive line. The last time the Colts tried to get their ‘main guy’ in the running department? Trent Richardson — the overweight, former No. 3 overall pick in 2012 who would be lucky to rush for 60 yards in a game.
The Colts know that they have to become better at running the ball — not just in 2016, but beyond. If things go as planned and the offensive line meshes together fairly well, then look for the team to find a steady balance in the running game.