Donald Brown has been thrown into the starting running back role for the Indianapolis Colts after the slew of injuries at his position.
The first long stretch of his career as the Colts' number one runner started slowly, but finally, in Week 15 against the Jacksonville Jaguars the shifty runner from UConn exploded for 129 yards on a mere 14 carries.
However, the Colts are still dead-last in run offense and the majority of Brown's yardage came on two long runs.
If the Colts can run the football well enough to keep defenses honest, their staple, the play-action pass will start to inflict it's usual pain on opponents once again.
Is Donald Brown the answer for Indy's running woes, or was last week simply a fluke?
To begin, the Colts are going to put a heavy onus on passing the football, and with good reason.
Peyton Manning hit a rough stretch in the middle of the year, but let's be real, the guy is far from being finished.
However, with a knew vote of confidence in the sneaky-fast Brown, head coach Jim Caldwell could begin to shift to a game plan that features more run plays.
As we all know, there's nothing a running back loves more than to get up to that 20-or-so carry range, when he can wear down a defense and spring one for a long gain in the second half.
Last week they faced an average Jacksonville run defense and they'll get the same in Week 16 with the Oakland Raiders.
Though the Jaguars have given up nearly 200 less yards than the Raiders, the two teams sit extremely close in yards per carry surrendered. (4.5 to 4.6 respectively)
Can we expect the same from Brown?
I'm not calling for another 9.2 yards per carry average. I'm not that crazy.
Last week was a confidence-builder not only for Brown, but for the offensive line paving the way in front of him and although the Raiders will most likely game plan for Brown, his play warrants more carries, and I think he'll get them.
And that's exactly what he needs.