Justin K. Aller/Getty Images
Indy has struggled in the running game for the past few seasons. They once had a good ground game with Marshall Faulk and then Edgerrin James. Once Joseph Addai took over it really went downhill from there. He was solid early, but the Colts moved to more of a one-dimensional passing scheme. That's going to change in the new era.
Bruce Arians wants to build a running attack and keep the offense balanced. With not having much to go off of for a running game, not much was expected this season on the ground. But the rushing attack has been pleasantly surprising and I can see it moving in an upward trend.
The starter Donald Brown has broken a few big runs and shown he can be explosive once he breaks away. He's rushed eight times for 32 yards and has one touchdown. Brown also gives the Colts a threat for a good receiving back as he broke that big 63-yard touchdown against St. Louis in the first game.
Brown's backup spot will be a good battle. Delone Carter was drafted last year to eventually take over as the No. 1. He struggled with putting the ball on the ground too much and was sort of a disappointment. He started fresh this season and look decent in the first game against St. Louis, carrying the ball five times for 17 yards and a touchdown. He was a little banged up and didn't play against Pittsburgh though.
Rookie Vick Ballard is showing he not only deserves to be Brown's backup, but he could be the future back for the Colts. Ballard is leading Indy in rushing this preseason, carrying the ball 16 times for 62 yards. He's a speedy back to get solid gains, but big enough to break tackles and make sure the ball is always moving forward. I like Ballard and think he only helps this position at depth and gives the Colts three solid young running backs.
The fourth back Mewelde Moore was brought in for short yardage situations and a veteran presence, but they may not need him. Moore, like Carter, has been banged up and only rushed for two yards on two attempts in his one appearance this preseason. I expect Brown, Ballard, and a healthy Carter to get the bulk of the carries, so Moore once again only makes the backfield stronger and adds depth.
I give the backfield a stock up grade.