Oct 14, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Trent Richardson (34) prior to the game against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Colts Lose as Richardson Struggles Continue

The Indianapolis Colts were unable to beat the San Diego Chargers on Monday Night Football in a low scoring affair that ended up finishing 19-9.  Really, this was the type of game the Colts were hoping that Trent Richardson could help them win.  A close, difficult game where defenses were able to get a lot of pressure on Andrew Luck and a strong running presence could have provided a ton of relief.  In terms of averages, this was Richardson’s best game as a Colt.  He had 10 carries for 40 yards at 4 yards per carry with a long of 12.  Richardson also has one catch for 13 yards which was far and away his most impressive play, making some opponents miss and powering through others.  That was a flash of what Browns fans had seen during Richardson’s rookie year.

The problem for the Colts was that while Richardson was pretty good in terms of his averages, the plays he did not make were extremely costly.  There were two that really hurt the Colts and both of them happened in the fourth quarter.  The first was on a pass play where Richardson got lost in the protection scheme and did not pick up anybody including the freed up Charger pass rusher who came in and made the sack on Luck.

Later on the penultimate drive for the Colts down on their own end of the field, another miscue from Richardson proved to really kill the Colts drive before it could started.  On the first play of the drive, the Colts set up a nice screen play for Richardson along the right sideline with plenty of open field in front of him.  Luck laid the pass out in a great spot for Richardson to make a great play and he took his eyes off of the ball and dropped it.  What is worse, offensive guard Hugh Thornton thought Richardson caught the ball and hit a Charger defender after the whistle which resulted in a late hit penalty and was after the play.  So the incomplete pass and the down counted with the Colts moving backward and having two downs to make up the distance.  They were unable to do it and had to punt the ball away.  The next time the Colts had the ball, they were down 19-9 and did not have enough time to make up the difference.

Richardson showed flashes of what he could be, but ultimately was largely the same mediocre player he has been since arriving in Indianapolis.  Nevertheless, there are some still arguing that the Browns should not have traded the back for a first round pick and plenty of Colts fans looking for any hope that this trade is not going to end up a complete disaster.  The Colts lose to the Chargers and face the Denver Broncos this coming week, so they could end up being 4-3 when they head into their bye week.  The second half of their schedule is pretty forgiving so they still look good for the playoffs, but this was definitely a game they were expecting to come in and win.

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