The Indianapolis Colts need more of Dan “Boom” Herron and less of Trent Richardson running the football. Richardson continues to not impress in his running, while Herron has taken full advantage of the chance he’s been given since the season-ending injury to Ahmad Bradshaw.
Over the past four weeks, since the Bradshaw injury, Herron has carried the ball 39 times for 239 yards, a 6.1 average. In that same span, Richardson has 37 carries for only 116 yards, a 3.1 average. Herron also excels with 13 catches for 96 yards compared to Richardson’s two catches for nine yards in the past four games.
If the Colts want to enter the playoffs on a high note they need to make the move now. Herron needs to be receiving a majority of the touches starting now and continuing into the playoffs if Indianapolis wants any kind of balanced offense. Herron has better vision, acceleration through the hole, and actually finds cutback lanes.
Richardson is the better pass blocker of the two backs but he has not been as good as usual over the past four weeks. His pass blocking grades by PFF over the past four weeks are 0.5, 0.6, -0.5 and 0.8. Herron has not been better with grades of 0.1, 0.3, -0.7 and -0.6.
I understand the Colts offensive line has had its issues and Andrew Luck has been hit more than any other quarterback in the NFL. If the Colts gave the ball to Herron a significant amount more than Richardson then they wouldn’t rely on him to the best pass blocker. Indianapolis would have more balance and opposing defenses wouldn’t be able to pin their ears back every play looking to hammer Luck.
Ever since the Bradshaw injury, opposing defenses have had little to no respect for the Colts running game and they have been hitting Luck early and often. With some balance on the offense the defense wouldn’t be able to play so pass heavy.
The Colts have been relying on a third year quarterback too much this year. Handing the ball off to Herron could take some pressure off of Luck and help him tremendously.
The Colts made the move in the playoffs last season, why not make it two weeks earlier this year? Last season Richardson had four rush attempts, one yard and one fumble in two games in the playoffs. Yes, one yard and one lost fumble! Donald Brown had 28 carries for 118 yards and a touchdown.
I’m not saying Richardson should be benched and never see the field again this season. The Colts don’t have depth at the position and Herron has never been an every-down running back. Which player is the starting running back means very little to the team. Herron deserves to get somewhere around double the touches in the running and passing game than Richardson.
The Colts offense has been struggling the past two weeks against Cleveland and Houston. Herron could be the spark and balance they need moving towards the playoffs. Take some pressure off Luck, give him more Boom.