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One of the many reasons why I love Yahoo! Sports player stats is because they offer some excellent situational numbers. One of those numbers offers a glimpse into how well Joseph Addai has been running in the fourth quarter. Through ten game, check out Addai's yards per rush by quarter:
First quarter: 2.6
Second quarter: 3.8
Third quarter: 4.0
Fourth quarter: 4.1
The Colts running game is by no means a strength, and if there is a weakness for this team it's running the ball. However, what the numbers, and the results, are showing is that the Colts know how to run effectively in the fourth quarter where it is essential to run if you want to ice a game. Compare Addai's quarter-by-quarter breakdown with, say, the Patriots' Laurence Maroney:
First quarter: 5.0
Second quarter: 3.5
Third quarter: 3.6
Fourth quarter: 3.2
Like the Colts, the Pats struggle to run the ball. However, unlike the Colts, the Patriots have struggled to run the ball in the fourth quarter of certain games. This was a huge reason why New England lost at Indy a few weeks ago (even though resident ESPN bald idiot Tony Kornheiser thinks they won; he also believes in magic fairies, pink unicorns, and the myth of his own credibility).
The benching of Mike Pollak for Kyle DeVan has also produced better rushing results. Since Pollak was benched, Addai has averaged 4.5, 4.1, and 3.9 yards a carry through the last three games, respectively.