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Vick Ballard: Why You Should Be Wary of Starting Colts RB vs. Browns

Posted By Jessica Isner On October 16, 2012 @ 11:36 am In Colts News | No Comments

People sure seem to be expecting a lot out of Indianapolis Colts [1] running back Vick Ballard [2], despite the fact that he’s never rushed for more than 25 yards in a game.

The rookie recently became Indianapolis’ No. 1 guy when Donald Brown went down with a knee injury that would require surgery, and in his first outing in the lead role, he was less than impressive, rushing for 25 yards on eight carries in a 35-9 loss to the Jets [3].

To Ballard’s credit, there were a plethora of problems with Indianapolis on Sunday. He wasn’t the only one struggling. The entire Colts offense only managed to get 298 yards against New York, and only 41 of those came on the ground.

But if there is one team you should be able to run against, it’s the Jets. New York’s rush defense is the second worst in the league, one notch above Buffalo [4]’s laughable unit, allowing 150.5 yards per game (a number that has deflated in light of Sunday’s strong performance). 

And the fact that Ballard couldn’t get anything going against the Jets is certainly not a good sign.

It’s true he’s a rookie. It’s true he’s only been the starter for less than a week. And it’s true that any player can come out of nowhere to be the star of your fantasy roster any given week. But Ballard wasn’t good on Sunday, and he doesn’t bode to be much better in Week 7, even if the Browns [5]‘ rush defense is only marginally more competent than New York’s.

The Browns’ rush D ranks 25th in the NFL [6], allowing 131.3 yards per game. Last week, however, was a rare good week for Cleveland, as its defense limited the Bengals [7] to a mere 76 yards on the ground.

Where the Bengals victimized the Browns defense was in the air: Andy Dalton threw for 362 yards and three touchdowns. 

Most likely, the strategy for Andrew Luck will be to follow Dalton’s lead. 

Luck, as we’ve seen in flashes this season, is very capable of shredding a secondary here and there. And Cleveland’s secondary, though it can come up with a big pick on occasion, gives up a whole lot of yardage, ranking 30th in the league after allowing an average of 294.2 yards per game.

The Colts’ backfield was embarrassed last week by a bad defense. They’re coming up against a pass defense that is even worse than its rush defense. The Colts have a gunslinging quarterback who can pick apart a porous D, and they have an inexperienced rookie running back who still hasn’t quite hit his stride.

They know what kind of offensive approach they need to take on Sunday.

Needless to say, this probably isn’t going to be the week that Ballard registers a breakout performance.

Read more Indianapolis Colts [1] news on BleacherReport.com

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URLs in this post:

[1] Indianapolis Colts: http://bleacherreport.com/indianapolis-colts

[2] Vick Ballard: http://bleacherreport.com/vick-ballard

[3] Jets: http://bleacherreport.com/new-york-jets

[4] Buffalo: http://bleacherreport.com/buffalo-bills

[5] Browns: http://bleacherreport.com/cleveland-browns

[6] NFL: http://bleacherreport.com/nfl

[7] Bengals: http://bleacherreport.com/cincinnati-bengals

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