Even though Donald Brown is reportedly practicing for the Indianapolis Colts, the team will likely start Vick Ballard at the running back position on Sunday against the New England Patriots. Brown missed practice yesterday, but he “appeared” (link above) to be practicing today and was most likely just getting some rest on Thursday.
Ballard may be starting, but it probably doesn’t matter anyway. Both running backs usually split carries evenly, because in the past two games that both of them have played Brown has received 14 carries in each game with Ballard notching 12. Neither back is going to have much success against the Patriots run defense, with Ballard being worse. He averages just 3.5 yards per carry, while Brown has a mediocre 4.1 YPC average.
Watch out for Delonte Carter in goal-line situations. Neither Brown nor Ballard offer the Colts much as receivers, but Ballard is better in that regard and had three receptions for 38 yards a couple of games ago.
Neither running back is good, and both of them have negative EPA totals. However, Ballard has been more consistent while Brown has been more efficient. He averages more yards per carry and is one of the five most valuable skill position players on the Colts. I have been impressed with Delonte Carter this season, because he is consistent in short-yardage situations.
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