While the Indianapolis Colts beat the Buffalo Bills 19-18 in their preseason opener, their running backs played poorly throughout the game.
It may have only been the first preseason, but the Colts probably wanted to accumulate more than 30 rushing yards as a team. The Colts’ running back struggled to shoot through open holes and get into open space.
The Colts’ third-string quarterback Stephen Morris led the team with 19 rushing yards on three carries. That should tell anyone all they need to know about the current state of the Colts’ running game without Frank Gore.
The Colts decided not to play starting running back Frank Gore because they did not want to risk an injury with him this early in the preseason. For this reason, undrafted rookie Josh Ferguson started in Gore’s place but played poorly.
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Ferguson only managed three rushing yards on eight carries. Surprisingly, the Colts did not try to get him the ball on pass plays out of the backfield. Offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski could be holding those ball until the regular season.
Ferguson has looked strong throughout Colts’ training camp. As a result, his ineffective performance in the team’s first preseason game is disappointing. However, no other Colts’ running back really stood out either.
Trey Williams, Robert Turbin and Jordan Todman also received reps at the running back slot. Combined, Turbin and Williams ran for seven yards on 11 carries. While Todman did not have a rushing attempt, he scored a 42-yard touchdown on a screen play.
Aside from Todman’s one moment of brilliance, these three running back did little to cement their place on the Colts’ roster.
There are other factors that could have also led to the Colts’ poor performance on the ground. First of all, there was a heavy rain prior to ad during the game, which made the turf slick. Meanwhile, the Colts’ offensive line had their own issues.
A combination of these two things could have led to the Colts’ uninspiring performance on the ground. These factors are not the main reasons why the running backs struggled, but no one should simply discount those issues.
Again, it is only one preseason game. The Indianapolis Colts still have three more to figure things out. The only issue with this first game is the Colts’ running backs looked awful without Frank Gore leading them.
Essentially, the running backs should chalk that game up as a missed opportunity. No one really staked their claim to be the primary backup running back. However, Todman may have a slight lead because he had a 42-yard receiving touchdowns.
The Indianapolis Colts’ backup running backs will have a chance to redeem themselves against the Baltimore Ravens on August 20.