Week Ten Analysis:
The early returns are in, and the results are unanimous: Cleveland absolutely fleeced Indianapolis. Trent Richardson hasn't scored in four straight, and his high water mark this season is 60 rushing yards. Moreover, he's topped 3.2 yards per carry just once in his last seven games, he's no longer a factor in the passing game, and he dipped into single digit touches last week for the first time all year. The ordinary Donald Brown is flat out schooling Richardson on a weekly basis. St. Louis' 32nd-ranked run defense just gave up 236 combo yards and three scores to Titans backs, so the great matchup is the only reason you're even considering Richardson.
Week Nine Analysis:
Trent Richardson has officially lost the benefit of the doubt. He's surpassed 4.0 yards per carry just once in his last 13 games. His high-water mark over his last 10 outings is 60 yards. He's only scored twice all season, and he's caught a grand total of two passes in five games as a Colt. Finally, he was last seen locked in a 50-50 timeshare with the replacement-level Donald Brown. Houston is a neutral matchup across the board, so while a short score is always possible, this really comes down to whether you can stomach the strong possibility of another 13-for-40 kind of day.
Week Seven Analysis:
No more excuses, let's just cut straight to the facts. Trent Richardson has only scored twice in six games. He has a total of two catches for 29 yards in his four games as a Colt. He's averaging 3.2 yards per carry, and less than 48 yards per game. He hasn't topped 60 rushing yards in a game in nearly 11 months. The Broncos are only allowing 2.9 yards per carry, but somehow they've surrendered a league-worst nine running back touchdowns in six games. Richardson has botched much easier matchups than this, but a score and 60 yards feels likely.
Week Six Analysis:
Trent Richardson is losing supporters by the minute. Including me. He's now failed to eclipse even 60 rushing yards in eight straight games, and he's averaging under 3.0 yards per carry in three games as a Colt. It's gotten to the point where if he doesn't score a short touchdown, he's completely worthless. That doesn't bode well for this week's matchup. The Chargers are one of only three teams yet to allow a touchdown to the position, and no back has topped 90 rushing yards against them. He's lost the benefit of the doubt, and you could very well have two better options this week.
Week Five Analysis:
Trent Richardson has scored in both of his games as a Colt, but his yardage shortcomings seem to have followed him to Indy. He's yet to surpass even 60 rushing yards this season, and he's now gone 10 consecutive games without reaching the century mark, thanks to a 3.2-yard per carry average over that span. In fact, in 331 career carries, he only has two rushes of 20 yards or more. Arian Foster and Ben Tate just combined for 216 total yards and a touchdown against what was a top-3 Seattle run defense, but Richardson's coming off a 20-for-60 effort against a semi-pro Jacksonville defense. It's touchdown or bust for T-Rich.
Richardson was moved up to #6 after news broke that Ahmad Bradshaw would not play Sunday.
Week Four Analysis:
Trent Richardson plunged into the end zone on his first carry as a Colt, but he failed to top 3.6 yards per carry for the eighth time in his last nine games. In fact, he's only averaged 57 rushing yards in those nine games. He gets a pass for last week, and despite Chuck Pagano's talk of a timeshare, Richardson should begin to take over the workload in Jacksonville now that he's had time to acclimate. The quality of his touches will increase exponentially in this talent-laden offense, and against this defense. The Jaguars are giving up a gaudy 5.1 yards per carry to opposing backs, so it's a great opportunity for Richardson to finally stretch his legs. I'm expecting Richardson to outpace Bradshaw by a 2:1 margin for touches.
Week Two Analysis:
We talked all summer about how things would be better for Trent Richardson this season, but through one week, they look exactly the same. Bad blocking, bad play-calling and bad Brandon Weeden all contributed to Miami's containment of Richardson. On the day, he managed just 77 combo yards, and his 3.6 yards per carry were identical to last season's final average. Things won't get any easier this week in Baltimore against a Ravens defense that just held Broncos backs to 67 yards on 21 carries. Still, Richardson scored once and averaged 120 combo yards in the two meetings with Baltimore last season, so you're sticking with him.
Week One Analysis:
If it weren't for his 12 touchdowns and 51 catches, Trent Richardson's rookie season would have been a disappointment. He only managed 3.6 yards per carry, fell short of 1,000 yards, and battled injury issues every step of the way. However, he's healthy now, and the powerful Cleveland run game fired on all cylinders this preseason, resulting in nearly 5.0 yards per carry for the sophomore in the preseason. Much like last season, Miami projects as a slightly above average run defense, but Richardson has the talent to destroy any matchup when he's playing at 100%.
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Trent Richardson's rookie season was equal parts power and pain. The battering ram scored 12 touchdowns, but fought through knee and rib injuries every step of the way. While he managed to play in 15 games, his effectiveness was severely limited in several contests, culminating in a depressing 3.6-yard per carry average and just 950 total rushing yards. Richardson's hard-charging style is a double-edged sword—every time he lowers his head, he's accumulating both extra yardage and extra punishment. And extra penalty flags, going forward. Thankfully, Richardson's 51 catches evened out his weekly box scores, and if he can stay healthy, his potential under running back guru Norv Turner is intoxicating.