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And Another Thing


Running game? We don't need no stinking running game

Or so one would gather from watching the Indianapolis Colts play.

Caught major chunks of the Chargers' 22-point thrashing of the Horsies last night, and, besides the fact that Peyton Manning had an absolutely awful night -- if he were, say, Jay Cutler and had that night, everyone in Chicago would have been howling for a trade this morning -- the thing that stuck out the most was the Colts' absolute refusal to run the football. Refusal, or inability.

Look, I know Joseph Addai's out, and I know the Colts got to the Super Bowl with the worst rushing offense in the league last year. But you at least have to pretend to run the football once in awhile, and last night the Colts did not.

They ran the football just 13 times for 24 yards, or 1.8 yards per carry. That not only doesn't keep the defense honest, it doesn't even make the attempt. And so the Chargers were able to sit on Manning's favorite routes -- he threw the football 48 times but averaged less than six yards per completion -- and that resulted in four interceptions, two of which were returned for scores.

Contrast that to the Atlanta Falcons, who beat Green Bay Sunday 20-17 by running for 117 yards and passing for 177. They ran the football 27 times and threw it 28. And, in the process, perhaps gave a small clue as to why they're 9-2 now.

The Colts, on the other hand, are now 6-5 and face the grim prospect of probably having to win out to make the playoffs -- or, at the very least, win four of their last five.

Right now I can't see it happening.

Ben Smith's blog.