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Colts’ Caldwell says playoffs are about running and stopping the run

jimcaldwell

The Indianapolis Colts became the first team since 1998 to make the playoffs without a 500-yard rusher, and they’ve struggled this year at stopping the run as well. So the comments from Colts coach Jim Caldwell about the importance of the ground game in the playoffs are particularly noteworthy.

“I think it’s very important because one of the things you find out, particularly once you get to this stage, is there are going to be very few teams that don’t have a real strong running game and very few teams that don’t have the ability to stop the run,” Caldwell said. “That’s what playoff teams look like.”

If that’s what playoff teams look like, then the Colts didn’t look like a playoff team for most of this season. The Colts’ offense was 29th in the NFL with 1,483 rushing yards, and their defense was 25th in the NFL with 2,032 rushing yards allowed.

And yet there are reasons for optimism in how the Colts have played lately. The Indianapolis Star notes that during their current four-game winning streak, the Colts have averaged 4.5 yards a carry and 133.5 rushing yards a game while allowing 3.5 yards a carry and 79.8 yards a game. That’s reminiscent of the way the Colts turned their run defense around in the playoffs and relied more on their run offense in winning Super Bowl XLI.

So were the real Colts the ones who struggled so much in the ground game during the first 12 games of the season, or the ones who turned things around over the last four games? The Jets will put that to the test on Saturday night.

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17 Responses to “Colts’ Caldwell says playoffs are about running and stopping the run”
  1. nogoodell says: Jan 4, 2011 12:52 PM

    so no wonder Philly loses everything

  2. profootballwalk says: Jan 4, 2011 12:56 PM

    So running wins playoffs? I guess this means they’ll be trading Peyton Manning soon.

  3. 8man says: Jan 4, 2011 12:57 PM

    So glad the Patriots are not playing this week. This is a deep playoff field.

    No one gets out of the AFC unless they earn it.

  4. xli2006 says: Jan 4, 2011 12:58 PM

    Kind of hard to compare the Midseason Colts to the Playoff Colts because the personnel is so different.

    The Running Game didn’t have Addai, Hart, and Brown for much of the year.

    The Run D just shutdown McFadden, Jones-Drew, and Johnson in 3 consecutive weeks.

    We’ll see what teams shows up Saturday. Should be a battle… I’ll be there!!!

  5. commoncents says: Jan 4, 2011 1:07 PM

    Is this a head fake in the direction of that Simpleton Rexy? Watch the Jets start the game with 7 D linemen.

  6. dansyndersux says: Jan 4, 2011 1:26 PM

    Jets essentially had a bye in week 17 so they will be rested and healthy for the matchup. Last year Peyton threw for 377 yards 3tds; primarly because the Jets nickel/dime backs were eaten alive by Garcon and Collie. Jets add Cromatrie and the rookie Wilson to help the pass D. No chance Peyton repeats that performance.

    Jets win 27-20

  7. mikebrownmakesmefrown says: Jan 4, 2011 1:27 PM

    If Roger Goodell had his way running plays would result in a 15 yard penalty, and so would playing defense. Colts suck! Who dey!

  8. all4patriots says: Jan 4, 2011 1:31 PM

    xli2006, Brown, Addai, or both were active in every game this year so they always had a 1st round draft pick taking the ball.

    Shutting down an injured Jones-Drew and backs on teams who had quit aren’t all that relevant.

    The Colts are Charmin soft at running and stopping the run.

    As a Patriots fan, though, I wish you well since I despise the Jets much more.

  9. obsession55 says: Jan 4, 2011 1:58 PM

    @ all4patriots

    Since Maroney was a 1st round pick that means the Pats shouldve been a great running game the past 5 years according to your logic right??? C’mon man

    And the Raiders quit?? Didnt look like it last week when they slapped the Cheifs around.

    Keep tellin yourself you arent afraid of this team. IF you get past Baltimore next week, we’ll see ya in Foxboro!!

  10. obsession55 says: Jan 4, 2011 2:00 PM

    Where did you guys find this picture of Caldwell with his mouth actually open?? Must be superimposed

  11. broncsfan says: Jan 4, 2011 2:09 PM

    Meanwhile, Bill Belichick checks the memory banks to verify that he did, in fact, win two Super Bowls with Antowain Smith and another with an aging Corey Dillon and shrugs his shoulders while telling BenJarvus Green-Ellis to give ‘em hell.

    There is no special rule to success in the playoffs.

  12. xli2006 says: Jan 4, 2011 2:22 PM

    all4patriots,

    Interesting logic. If you think the Colts have been healthy enough at RB all year you haven’t been paying attention.

    Addai, Hart, Brown, Clark, Collie, Gonzalez, Eldridge all missed time. The Colts use RBs as backfield blockers often and Addai/Hart are the only 2 that seem to do that consistently. Addai (the Colts best and most versatile back) didn’t play for nearly 2 months.

    Spin and twist it around all you’d like, but the Colts just got healthy at RB in the last couple weeks and the production reflected that. And that “soft as Charmin” Run D just played a huge role in shutting down 3 of the leagues most productive backs.

  13. kellyb9 says: Jan 4, 2011 3:04 PM

    @xli2006 – “Spin and twist it around all you’d like, but the Colts just got healthy at RB in the last couple weeks and the production reflected that. ” — Against who? Tennessee (ranked: 20th run defense), Oakland (29th), Jacksonville (22nd), and Dallas (12th)… oops forgot the colts lost that game. Using stats isn’t spinning or twisting, is it??? I sincerely hope the Colts win because I hate the Jets (ranked 3rd)… wouldn’t expect a great day on the ground….

  14. mike32303 says: Jan 4, 2011 3:42 PM

    @obsession55

    Last time i checked we both baltimore and the colts. And trust me im not scared.. its peyton whos scared to come to the new frozen tundra which is Gillette Stadium. Ill take Benjarvus in new england over the list of rb’s the colts have. But don’t worry, if all else fails we have like 7 picks in the first 3 rounds so im not worried

  15. dpats9 says: Jan 4, 2011 4:16 PM

    dansyndersux says:
    Jets essentially had a bye in week 17 so they will be rested and healthy for the matchup. Last year Peyton threw for 377 yards 3tds; primarly because the Jets nickel/dime backs were eaten alive by Garcon and Collie. Jets add Cromatrie and the rookie Wilson to help the pass D. No chance Peyton repeats that performance.

    Jets win 27-20

    n 4, 2011 1:26 PM
    Dandersuck ???

    Really isn’t this the same defense team that gave up 45 points to the Pats and couldn’t cover anyone ? Love to know how Jets Fan can be confident about anything at this point ! Your Defense has been much worse than last year and now you have ZERO pass rush so explain to me how there is “No Chance” Peyton can’t rip u a new one again????

  16. zack18257 says: Jan 4, 2011 4:24 PM

    dont buy the colts. peyton manning and greg maddux are the same person in different sports. HEY we make the playoffs every year!!!! For 15 years or something.

    1 championship

  17. nesuperfan says: Jan 4, 2011 9:35 PM

    8man says:
    Jan 4, 2011 12:57 PM
    So glad the Patriots are not playing this week. This is a deep playoff field.

    No one gets out of the AFC unless they earn it.
    ________________________________

    I just hope the wildcard teams beat each other to a bloody pulp this weekend.

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