One thing that has been missing from the Colts’ offense the last few years is a consistent running game. In 2015, they brought in Frank Gore to help give life to the rush offense. Gore has been a solid player for the Colts in his two and half seasons so far, but has not taken the offense to the next level. New GM, Chris Ballard, looked to the draft for assistance, and in the fourth round selected Marlon Mack out of South Florida. Mack was an underrated prospect, who mixes power, burst, and vision together to create big runs. Mack was injured the past three games after a good showing week one, and against the 49ers he showed why he deserves more snaps.
Marlon displays very good patience in finding the right hole. Once he finds the hole, he displays very good burst to get to the second level or around the corner. The play above is a perfect example. The Colts are running inside zone here out of 11 personnel. After the snap, Mack actually makes the wrong decision and picks the wrong hole. However, he gathers himself and finds an opening to the outside. Once he gets to the second level, he makes a jump cut to beat the safety, adding a stiff arm to help him gain more yardage before diving into the end zone. This play showed Mack’s playmaking abilities when the play breaks down.
This play won the game for the Colts and Mack, once again, shows off his burst and acceleration to get outside. This time the Colts are running what is called a duo block. This is something the Cowboys and Steelers run very often, and needs a running back who will show patience in finding right hole. On the duo block, Mack will be reading the Mike linebacker, and if he presses the line, he is supposed to bounce the play outside. After the snap, Mack sees the linebacker press the line, and immediately bounces this play outside, showing off his mental processing. He is able to beat the other linebackers to the corner with his elite speed, and is still able to cut back for extra yards. This play put the Colts in position for a field goal, and the win.
Mack has the potential to be a three down back for the Colts in the future. I would like to see him do more inside the tackles, but that is an area he can definitely get better at over time with more reps. I expect by the end of the year to see him getting more snaps than Gore to get him prepared for heavier workload next season. The sky is the limit for Marlon Mack.
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