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MVP of the Game: Carson Wentz/Jonathan Taylor/Julian Blackmon
Carson Wentz had his best game as a Colt, going 25/35 for 402 yards and 2 scores. Wentz looked more like the MVP caliber quarterback and less like the mess he was last season. For all the bad that was in this last game, Colts fans have to acknowledge the positive that is Wentz starting to play like his former self. He will only get better with more practice and once the offense’s best players return from injury. As for Jonathan Taylor, the dude is just a beast. He’s inarguably a top-5 running back in the NFL right now. Yesterday Taylor had 16 touches for 169 yards and 2 scores, just an amazing primetime showing by JT. I really liked how Blackmon played yesterday, as the turnover forced in the redzone capped what was an impressive performance by the second-year safety.
Dud of the Game (The Grigsy): Rodrigo Blankenship/Matt Eberflus
Injury or not, there is no reason at all for Blankenship to still be on the Colts roster next Sunday. Yeah I know he has the glasses and the cool nickname, but Rodrigo has a noodle for a leg, and yesterday, when the Colts needed him the most, he folded. To put salt on the wound, Chase McLaughlin is having an amazing season with the Browns. Eberflus botched the second half completely, as he played way too conservative defense and allowing Jackson to throw the ball at will We do have to take into account that he was down to his #5 and #6 cornerbacks, though, and most of the starters were either banged up or cramping.
Best Play of the Game: JT’s TD catch/Zach Pascal catch late in the 4th/ Blackmon’s forced fumble in the redzone
On the first drive of the game and facing 3rd and 15, Taylor caught a screen pass and just hit turbo all the way to the house, thanks in part also to some impeccable blocking by the left side of the line. Late in the 4th quarter, with the game tied and seemingly headed to overtime, with just under 20 seconds remaining and after a questionable unnecessary roughness call went our way, Pascal caught a 15 yard pass from Wentz to put the Colts in field goal range for what should have been the game-winning kick. Unfortunately, we all know how that ended. Blackmon’s forced fumble on 1st and goal at the 1-yard line was huge, and the Colts managed to score a touchdown right after that. How one can lose the game after that is beyond me.
Worst Play of the Game: Any of Blankenship misses/All defensive plays in the 4th
The blocked field goal that would have sealed the game is solely on Mark Glowinski’s shoulders. Do your homework, man! Calais Campbell is a mountain of a man and has been a threat to field goals his entire career, and you just fold like that on one of the most important moments of the game? Hopefully, once Nelson is back the Colts move Chris Reed to RG and bench Glowinski for good, as he has been awful this season. The defense was just outplayed and outcoached in the final quarter, but hard to place any particular blame on anyone other than Ballard for failing to address a cornerback group with obvious durability issues.
Best Position Group: Wide Receiver
Hard to find a position where most of the players excelled, but last night it was the receivers who were the most consistent. Not only did MPJ continue playing like a true #1 receiver, but Parris Campbell had his best game of the season and is starting to show some decent chemistry with Wentz, Pascal was amazing at run blocking and made some key grabs down the stretch, and Ashton Dulin is slowly carving out a role as the #4 receiver.
Unsung Hero: Isaiah Rodgers
Rodgers has been a pleasant surprise at cornerback in the wake of so many injuries at the position. He has managed to improve his technique and awareness to a level where he can use his mind-blowing athleticism and is looking better and more comfortable each week.
Rookie of the Week: Kylen Granson
2 catches for 19 yards on just 8 snaps for Kylen Granson, who I predict will end up getting more snaps than Doyle at the end of the year.