Reich: Colts not trying to play keep-away from Chiefs

Frank Reich, like most NFL coaches, wants to run the ball, but the Indianapolis Colts coach is not planning on a ground-heavy game for Saturday's tilt with Kansas City simply to play keep-away from Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs dangerous offense.

"If it's running it for 200 or throwing it for 400, I'm always going to say the same thing, we are trying to score every time we touch the ball and we are going to game plan and call the game in a way to score points," Reich said on Tuesday, via Kevin Bowen of 107.5 The Fan. "We are really not trying to think so much about, 'Well, let's hold the ball and keep it from them.' We want to run it. There's no secret about that. That does keep them off the field. That would be great. But at the end of the day, the primary goal is score points."

Reich knows that the formula for winning is throwing to get the lead then running to protect it. The Colts used that recipe to aplomb in their Wild Card win over the Houston Texans. After jumping out to a 21-0 lead thanks to Andrew Luck's passing acumen, the Colts unleashed Marlon Mack.

Mack set the Colts single-game playoff record with 148 rushing yards versus the Texans. Since Week 7, including the playoffs, Mack has been one of the most productive running backs in the NFL, ranking second in carries (197), second in rush yards (933), second in rushing TDs (10) and first in rushing first downs (51) during that span.

The Colts have averaged 129.0 rushing yards per game over their last 11 tilts (10-1 in that span). Indy has generated 200-plus rushing yards in three games this season, including playoffs (T-2nd most in the NFL with the Seahawks) -- only the Ravens (5) have more games with 200-plus rush yards.

While Reich won't run the ball simply to play keep-away from Mahomes, expect the Colts to take advantage of their ground dominance against a Kansas City defense that has been run over.

Much has been made of the Chiefs' secondary deficiencies, but Andy Reid's run D has been exponentially worse for the balance of the season. Football Outsiders rated K.C.'s pass defense No. 12 in the NFL -- buoyed by a strong pass rush -- but the Chiefs' run defense was an NFL-worst 32nd. The raw statistics are skewed by the fact that K.C. opponents often need to throw the ball to play catchup. Even then, the rushing numbers allowed don't look good. The Chiefs have given up 132.1 rushing yards per game, 27th in the NFL.

Reich doesn't want to run the ball only to bleed the clock, it's simply one side benefit of the Colts' offensive advantage Saturday.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content