Running on empty: Lack of rushing threat hasn't held back Colts ... yet
Indianapolis rushed 25 times for 42 yards last week against Baltimore, and even though tailback
This week the Jets have to worry about Manning in the pocket,
Because the Jets do not need to respect the run, they can concentrate on rushing the quarterback, which is what they do best anyway, with the top pass defense in the NFL. If they spring the upset, it will be because the Colts offense was one-dimensional from the outset and the Jets were able to pressure Manning into mistakes. Of course, banking on Manning's mistakes is like betting against the sunrise, which is the why the Jets are such long-shots in the first place.
Even though Manning guided the Colts to the AFC championship without much semblance of a running game -- one of many reasons he collected his fourth MVP award -- to win the Super Bowl he may need more help. Manning was Super Bowl MVP when the Colts beat the Bears in '07, though the award could have easily been shared by
Despite their dearth of a running game, the Colts still rely heavily on the play-action pass, and oddly enough it still works. The play is another testament to Manning, whose fake handoffs are so convincing that defenses buy them even without a legitimate threat of the run. Before the Jets played the Colts late in the regular season, head coach
While the Colts finished 32nd in the league in rushing this season, the team that finished 31st was the Chargers, the Jets' most recent victim. Not only did the Jets hold the Chargers to 61 rushing yards, but also Ryan was able to unleash his blitzers on quarterback
"We definitely have to be better than we've been, regardless of who we're playing against," Colts left tackle
Like Addai, Johnson said the problems with the running game are self-inflicted, correctable at any time. But the Colts have been saying that for two years, and up until now, they haven't really needed to make the repairs.