There is one major question we need to be answered. Who is the season starter: Bradshaw or Richardson. Bradshaw will most likely start the next game but moving forward who will start the first series of the game or tried to be featured more. We gave the Browns a 1st round pick for Trent Richardson and you would assume that be would become the starter but Bradshaw makes a very good argument for how he has been running this season, especially against the 49ers. Let's break down the two backs:
Bradshaw was running "angry" at the 49ers defense and was a hard force to bring down. Bradshaw had 19 carries for 95 yards and a touchdown against the 49ers. He had more yards against the 49ers than he had through the first two games (91 yards, 1 TD). So Bradshaw so far this year has 186 yards rushing, 2 TDs, and a 4.5 yards per carry average. Bradshaw is also a very good pass-blocking runningback and has looked good when Luck throws the ball to him. Bradshaw is a power runningback at 5'10 214 lb. but can be elusive and breaks tackles in the open field.
Richardson scored on his first carry as an Indianapolis Colt on a 1-yard run. He had 13 carries for 35 yards and a touchdown against the 49ers. He might have had a measly 2.7 yards per carry average, but most of his runs were punishing and only got a few yards because of how the defense played against the lineman. But, what I saw from that was he was powering through the defense for a few yards and tired them. When, Bradshaw came on, they were too tired to stop him easily. Trent Richardson can tire a defense at 5'9'' 225 lb. and help set up the pass and even more runs.
I think Bradshaw will be the starter for now. Richardson is going to probably be the franchise back even though Ballard should be back next year. Bradshaw has the momentum right now and has the most to prove. I know our team will be using a 1-2 punch this year with Richardson and Bradshaw but Bradshaw will get more touches. I know Richardson wasn't exactly prepared and well-rested going into the game which is why he saw limited carries. Even so, Bradshaw is probably going to get the more touches because he was here longer and has the upper edge.
Another interesting thing is the use of Donald Brown. We will never be the starter this year unless they are injured but he adds a nice element to the run game. Bradshaw and Richardson are power backs, but Brown is more of an elusive back who does not rely on powering through defenders but trying to run around. Brown did a decent job yesterday with 3 carries for 27 yards. If he can occasionally come in and run past the defense after they were worn out by Bradshaw and Richardson, our running game will be even better. Luck is going to have fun throwing over a defense that is too tired after the effects of the running game.