The Colts have two featured backs. One is a ground and pound runner, while the other is more of a scat-back. But who is more effective? Who should be utilized more?
The Colts running game hasn’t been the epitome of success in recent years. The Colts have tried to address that in recent years by going out and getting Frank Gore. They also went out and drafted Marlon Mack in the most recent draft. Both have their strengths and weaknesses, but who should be utilized more often?
Gore is an aging vet with a proven track record of success. He spent a decade in San Francisco as the featured back and had many successful seasons there. As a Colt the last two years, he has tried to bring that success with him. He rushed for 1,000 yards last season at the age of 33, when most running backs are playing rounds of golf in retirement.
Mack is a young rookie with some explosion to his game. He has a burst that the Colts haven’t had in their backfield since Joseph Addai. He is a hard runner, and has great vision as a young back. Despite the fact that he backs up Gore, he shows great potential in the action he has gotten.
Both running backs have their strengths, but who should be used more? The aging vet who runs like a bull with reckless abandon? Or the young buck who is bursting with potential?
The answer seems to lie in the situation. The Colts have use for both backs. Gore seems to be more effective on early downs and in short yardage situations. Mack seems to be more effective in the passing game, especially on screens where he has broken out for large gains.
The play calling also dictates when each running back gets their chance. When Indianapolis gets conservative, Gore seems to be the back of choice, usually getting the ball up the middle. When the Colts try to open up the playbook, Mack seems to see the field.
So ultimately who should see the field more? Mack seems to have more big play ability and is able to gain bigger chunks of yards than Gore. He is a big play waiting to happen, and the Colts would do well to give him the ball more. Of course, Jacoby Brissett’s lack of effectiveness hurts both Gore and Mack’s ability to be effective.
It will be interesting to see if the Colts use the rookie more or continue to lean on their veteran back in their upcoming match-ups.