Running back Trent Richardson has underwhelmed since being acquired by the Indianapolis Colts in September. Ben Muth takes a closer look at what exactly's wrong.

One of the big stories of the first half of the 2013 football season was Trent Richardson. First, it was a blockbuster trade after Week 2, where the Colts gave up next year’s first-round pick for him. Then, with the spotlight focused squarely on him in the weeks after the trade, it was the fact that he can’t seem to get anything going. He’s averaging exactly 3.0 yards an attempt and has yet to break a run for longer than 16 yards. Those stats are pretty grisly to look at, but people who have actually watched the game are quick to point out that there hasn’t been a whole lot of room for Richardson to run through. So, I wanted to sit down and watch some tape so I could decide for myself what exactly is going on in Indianapolis.

Right now, I think the biggest issue Richardson is having is that he has a hard time getting restarted once his feet are stopped in the backfield. I mean, in that sentence alone, you can see how the o-line’s struggles bleed into Richardson’s. The o-line is getting knocked back, so Richardson is having to stop his feet behind the line of scrimmage and redirect (not good for an o-line), and Richardson looks sluggish trying to reaccelerate (not good for an running back picked third overall). It's tough to assign how much blame each deserves in situations like these. Let’s take a look at Richardson’s fourth quarter fumble from last week’s Denver game as an example.

The Colts are running a single back power scheme from the gun. The guy that kills the play is right guard Jeff Linkenbach, who gets rocked into the backfield a yard and a half deep right off the snap. That screws up the puller a bit and forces Richardson to stop his feet 2 yards behind the line of scrimmage. It’s a terrible play by the right guard (which has been a theme in Indy this year no matter who is playing there) but Richardson doesn’t look much better.

Look at how T-Rich just kind of oozes laterally after his momentum is stopped. He’s not exploding outside like a Jamaal Charles and he’s not making a LeSean McCoy-type jump cut, either. He’s just kind of shuffling looking for something outside, when needs to be looking for any kind of seam to get vertically through.