My ears are still buzzing after this deal that seemingly came out of nowhere. The Colts finally have their bell cow to go with a franchise QB in Andrew Luck. This offense is starting to resemble the 1999 squad, but with a better defense. The only thing questionable about it now is the O-line. The addition of Richardson gives the Colts something they haven't had since Edgerrin James laced up a pair of cleats for the horseshoes. Richardson is a top ten back. Regardless of the current trend of pass happy offenses sweeping the league, when it comes to winning games at the highest level you aren't gonna win them very often without one. The argument has been made over and over again that "You don't need a top ten back to win a SB anymore. "Look at the Packers and Saints." That might be true in the short scheme of things. It's not true in the long term though. Without a top ten back you can win "A" SB. With one you can win multiple SBs as long as you have a franchise QB and a balanced team to go with one. You want proof? The past five years have brought you the Packers, and Saints as the two teams who've won a SB without a top ten back. The other teams who won a SB without one did it with a multi-back system that put up top ten rushing numbers. Neither of those teams were able to repeat nor have they been back to the SB since.
For all of the hoopla surrounding the Brady led Patriots, they haven't won a SB since their switch to a pass happy offense they've currently employed for the past 6 years. The years the Pats won there 3 SBs they were in the top 10-15 in rushing, and defense respectively. They haven't won the game's biggest prize since devaluing those two formulas. The Packers, once thought to be the next "Lambeau Dynasty" after winning their first SB under Rodgers, now just can't seem to get past the Niners; a team that mirrors the DNA of multi-championship winners like the Steelers and Niners of the 80s. For all of the naysayers out there I have a cold, hard fact for you to consider. The Steelers and Niners have won more SBs than any other team in the league. The only multi-winners in the past 6 years have been the Steelers and Giants. They weren't exactly pass happy teams without a formidable rushing attack either.
What the Richardson trade means for the Colts is that management has big plans for this franchise NOW. They're not building this team to be "one and done." They have multiple championships in mind. Irsay wants a dynasty and to erase any doubt from the Indy fan base regarding the paradigm shift from Manning to Luck on if it was the right one. Make no mistake, there is still a healthy contingent of fans out there who still hold on to Manning and the bitterness they have towards a front office that let go of someone as iconic as Manning is. Acquiring Richardson won't make those fans forget about Manning, but it will make them take a step in that direction. If you have any doubts about this deal at all, the Colts got the better deal between the two teams. The Browns at best will get a 25th overall pick in the 1st round. Rarely will you get a back the caliber of "T-Rich" at that spot. Also, I'm not buying into the squawking coming out of media outlets and Browns fans that "Richardson only got 3.5 yards per carry," or "He's a diva." Trent Richardson was not the problem with the Browns. Their lack of a QB is. If the Browns don't land a franchise QB in the upcoming draft, this trade will be magnified exponentially as a failure for the Browns. Even if they do, it doesn't hurt the Colts one bit either way.