Scouts Inc. playbook
The Indianapolis Colts are perceived as a pass-happy team because of the numbers quarterback Peyton Manning regularly puts up with receivers Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne. But the Colts have averaged 107 rushing yards per game over the past five seasons, and the combination of rookie Joseph Addai and veteran Dominic Rhodes didn't miss a beat in replacing the departed Edgerrin James this season. Here are three running plays the Colts rely on regularly.
• Stretch: This is a staple running play for the Colts not only because it works, but also because it sets up the play-action, bootleg passing game that quarterback Manning uses so effectively.
• Draw: Run from a two-tight end set, the Colts love to use this play in the red zone, and it's one of the reasons they were second in the league in red-zone offense this season.
The Chicago Bears run the ball to set up the play-action pass and to take pressure off quarterback Rex Grossman. While we've seen improved run defense from Indianapolis, the Colts' defenders still are undersized and susceptible to power running. Chicago's passing game is best when it can use play-action and give quarterback Grossman one easy read. The more they can run the ball with Thomas Jones and Cedric Benson, the more they can lure Colts safety Bob Sanders into the box and open up some deep passes down the seams.
• Power-O: This is a staple running play for the Bears, who will run it to either side.
• Cut-back run: This is one of Chicago's favorite short-yardage plays because it preys on attacking defenses that tend to overpursue.
• TE seam route: Grossman can make every NFL throw, but the seam route is by far his best.