Week eight saw the Indianapolis Colts hit a potential turning point in their season when they beat the Denver Broncos 27-24 at the Lucas Oil Stadium.
Quarterback Andrew Luck attempted just 36 passes in the game, which is his second-lowest tally of the season. Running back Frank Gore, on the other hand, went for a season high of 28 carries, earning 83 rushing yards, one reception for 19 yards, and a touchdown. This was his first score since week five against the Texans when backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck played instead of Luck.
This week, the Colts are coming out of their bye and are travelling down to Georgia to face the Atlanta Falcons, who have leaked the second highest number of rushing touchdowns in the league (11).
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Indianapolis will be without Luck this weekend as he suffered abdominal and kidney injuries when tackled in the game against the Broncos. Instead, Hasselbeck will start his third game of the season, hoping to make it three wins in three.
In the previous two games with Hasselbeck at the helm, Gore carried for a combined 39 rushes. He scored a touchdown against the Texans and caught five aerial balls against the Jacksonville Jaguars for 34 yards.
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Their running back reach season highs on attempts and yards during the Colts' last outing, which were greatly down to their new offensive coordinator, Rob Chudzinski.
Head coach Chuck Pagano stated, during his press conference prior to the Denver game according to the Colts website, that Chudzinski “believes in running the football”. Following this statement, Gore ran for campaign highs against one of the best defences in the NFL.
Along with the new caller’s rushing preferences, the Colts would also seek to minimise the risk of Hasselbeck picking up an injury, seeing as his backup is the newly claimed 33-year-old Charlie Whitehurst.
Prior to the Broncos game, Luck sustained 12 sacks in six games, suggesting that his offensive line isn’t one of the greatest in the league.
With this in mind, the coaches will most likely give Gore more responsibility in order to relieve some of the risks of a Hasselbeck injury, as the 40-year-old may have to stand in for up to six weeks.
One can only assume that this means Gore will continue to see a lot of the ball when the Colts face the Falcons on Sunday.