Right now life is pretty good for the Indianapolis Colts and their fans. They sit atop of a weak AFC South division and are almost granted to host another playoff game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Much of this of course is due to the presence and form of quarterback Andrew Luck.
In Luck the Colts have a genuine franchise quarterback who is set to dominate for at least the next decade. Things aren't all great for the Colts though.
Running Game Troubles
The running game is a persistent dark cloud on an otherwise sunny horizon. Theoretically, playing at running back in an Andrew Luck led offense should be like driving on a deserted highway. With opposition defenses defending against the pass even the most average of running backs should look like Emmitt Smith.
This isn't the case for the Colts though. In the running game they average the 15th most rushing yards in the NFL with only 112 yards per game. Even more troublingly they have a league high 10 fumbles whilst rushing.
The big problem is the quality of talent at running back. Ahmad Bradshaw is good but also dangerously fragile and sadly cannot make it through an entire season. Daniel Herron is nothing special and Trent Richardson, the nominal number one back, will be remembered for being part of one of the worse trades in NFL history.
Richardson averages 3.3 yards and that is on a good day. On his bad days he is even worse. Against New England his six attempts went for 0 yards and against Washington his 8 attempts went for 12 yards.
As long as the Colts have this weakness at running back they will struggle to catch up with the AFC powerhouses like Denver and New England let alone NFC juggernauts such as Green Bay. Fortunately for the Colts, there is an easy solution to this problem, Adrian Peterson.
Peterson and the Colts are perfect for each other
By now it is an open secret that Adrian Peterson is on his way out of Minnesota. Spending the season on the commissioner's exemption list before finally being suspended for the rest of 2014 certainly didn't help, but in truth even had Peterson been playing for the Vikings all season he would almost certainly be exiting Minnesota at the end of the season
The reason for all this is money. Peterson is on a huge contract at Minnesota. His guaranteed money has all been paid up leaving him with $56 million worth of non-guaranteed cash on the table. Peterson is now 29-years-old and the value of the running back position is not what it once was. If you are the front office in Minnesota needing to build a team around rookie QB Teddy Bridgewater, the expense of Adrian Peterson is not one that you will look kindly upon.
Peterson therefore will likely be available to trade and the Colts should be willing to pay a high price to get him. Peterson would immediately give the Colts running game a massive boost and playing alongside Andrew Luck would give Peterson the opportunity to win the Super Bowl ring that is missing from his trophy cabinet.
The Colts should have one priority this offseason, landing Adrian Peterson.
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