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While the Colts have a group of prolific wide receivers, the team needs to make the running game the focal point of its offense.
There is nothing wrong with using all the team's weapons, but with a group of young linemen and Kerry Collins leading the passing attack, speeding the game up and keeping the ball on the ground gives the Colts the best chance to win games.
In Week 1 against the Houston Texans, the Colts fell behind early and were forced to throw. On Sunday against the Cleveland Browns, the game was much closer throughout.
The Colts did run the ball, gaining 110 yards on 25 carries between Joseph Addai and Delone Carter, but a chunk of yardage was gained towards the end of the game, when underneath routes and run yardage are given up easily to run down the clock (also known as garbage time).
Lacking the firepower at quarterback to keep up with high-scoring offenses, the Colts will need to do everything possible to shorten the game.
The game plan needs to start with the run early and go to it often, and there needs to be a heavy mix of screens. Screens can be just as effective as running plays at speeding the game up.
The offense should utilize screens to running backs, wide receivers and tight ends, to keep defenses—especially the defensive line—guessing.
Just because the offense should focus on running the ball doesn't mean the team can't get creative either.
Use two-tight end sets and fake a screen to Dallas Clark while Kerry Collins hits Jacob Tamme or Brody Eldridge on the other side. Or simply put the plethora of wide receivers in the backfield to create mismatches.
Understandably, none of this will work if the quarterback—in this case, Collins—can't stretch the field enough to give players some open space.