Indianapolis Colts: breaking down the loaded backfield in 2020
By Jerry Trotta
Breaking down the Indianapolis Colts’ loaded backfield in 2020.
With training camp looming, it seems like an appropriate time to explore potential roster conundrums that the Indianapolis Colts coaching staff will face this upcoming season. While there are plenty of questions in the secondary and at wide receiver, the running back position clearly sparks the most debate.
After all, Indianapolis has three players — Marlon Mack, Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines — who are all deserving of significant workloads. However, as much as the Colts love to run the ball, there simply isn’t enough offensive snaps throughout a game that would allow for all three running backs to log double digit touches.
Since head coach Frank Reich is likely losing a ton of sleep thinking about how to utilize his weapons, let’s attempt to analyze what Indy’s three-horse backfield could look like in 2020.
Indianapolis’ affinity for establishing the run was really accentuated when they drafted college football’s top running back in Taylor in the second round of this year’s NFL Draft after boasting one of the league’s most imposing rushing attacks in 2019. For the season, the Colts ranked ranked seventh with 133.1 yards per game.
As much as fans would love to see Taylor start from day one and get fed 20-plus touches, that just isn’t going to happen. Mack, who’s entering the final year of his rookie deal and is fresh off a 1,000-yard season, will likely start and notch 12 or so carries. Expect the 24-year-old to run angry in a contract year.
However, that doesn’t at all mean that Taylor won’t be involved. The Wisconsin stud is a beast of a runner, but could stand to improve as a pass-catcher out of the backfield, even though that aspect of his game is severely underrated. In our eyes, Taylor could receive close to 10 carries with Hines, who has incredibly soft hands, playing the majority of snaps on obvious passing downs.
A game plan like this would not only amplify what the Colts do best, but it would also see Philip Rivers, who as alarmingly inaccurate last season on his way to throwing 20 interceptions with the Chargers, not have to throw to a suspect receiving corps as much.
That’s what we like to call a classic win-win scenario, and should produce big time in 2020.