Trent Richardson Will Find No Running Room Against Jaguars


Trent Richardson will be shouldering the load at running back for the Indianapolis Colts as they take on the Jacksonville Jaguars today. Richardson has been underwhelming with the two teams who have spent first round picks on him, first through the draft with the Cleveland Browns and now with the Colts after they shipped a first rounder for him last year.

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Richardson had a bit of a resurgence in the beginning of 2014, but the real Trent Richardson re-emerged and the Colts turned to a reinvigorated Ahmad Bradshaw for the running game. Now, without Bradshaw available, Richardson will have to show that he can get back to early season form.

That will be tough for a couple of reasons. The first, is that the Colts haven’t done a good job moving the ball on the ground in recent weeks. They have failed to break 100 yards rushing in four of their last five games, including three in a row and an absolutely horrendous 19 yards on the ground last week against a middling New England Patriots run defense (though they were playing from behind in that blowout.

Richardson is averaging just 3.4 yards per rushing attempt (10th worst in the league) and has averaged just 2.4 yards per attempt over the past three games. His mediocrity has seemingly gained momentum with the season and he will have to overcome that if he hopes to find success against the Jags.

Another reason it will be tough for Richardson to get back to form will be the loss of right tackle Gosder Cherilus (shoulder injury). Cherilus, for all his faults, is a cut above his replacement Joe Reitz. Reitz had a nice game against the Houston Texans in week six (at guard), but is the definition of mediocrity most days and doesn’t play tackle regularly. The entire right side of the offensive line causes problems for the Colts, but Reitz will be the anchor that drags them all down and limits the ability of Richardson to run the ball on that side. Cherilus offered at least consistency while center Jonotthan Harrison has struggled and the Colts try and figure out what to do at right guard.

The Colts will likely be able to rely on their passing game to exploit weaknesses in the Jaguars’ secondary. Even if it is a mediocre outing for Trent Richardson, they have shown they can power through with Andrew Luck’s arm.

With things looking limited for Richardson just on the Colts side of the ball, the Jaguars should focus on stopping Luck and his potent receivers. It’s unlikely that Richardson will suddenly rebound against the Jaguars.