The Vontae Davis trade looked very much like a bust for two-thirds of the NFL season. If Vontae wasn't hurt on a regular basis, he was being torched by rookies like on a regular basis. Still, to Davis' credit, the injuries and the poor play did not seem to get him down. In the month of December, Davis has come on a bit, culminating in a two interception performance against the Texans last week, helping the Colts win 28-16.
For that performance, the NFL has awarded Vontae with the AFC Defensive Player of the Week for Week 17.
Davis is the third Colts corner to win the weekly award this year. Darius Butler received the honor after picking off two Blaine Gabbert throws (and returning one for a score) in Week 10 against the Jaguars, while Cassius Vaughn also got it for his pick-six performance against the Titans in Week 14.
Notice how, in each of the weeks Colts corners received these awards, it was against an AFC South opponent?
I don't have a list of who won these weekly awards over the past four months, but I think the Colts are the only NFL team with all three of their corners having earned one award during the season.
Oh, and for those of you who have been itchin' to dog me because I have been hard on Vontae, please take note that, for much of the day last Sunday, Andre Johnson was killing him. Yes, I know Johnson is a very good receiver, but Vontae was traded for specifically to stop very good receivers. His two picks were a result of Matt Schaub making two terrible throws. Vontae deserves credit for making the plays needed on those throws, but if the Texans didn't have a QB who routinely choked in important games, they win on Sunday, and Vontae looks like a bust again.
One thing I will say in Vontae's defense (and this is likely why he gets toasted on a few plays): If the Colts had better interior line play, they wouldn't need to bring their safeties down in the box to contain the run. That would mean more help for corners like Vontae, and, likely, fewer catches for receivers like Johnson.
Another thing to consider with Vontae: Chuck Pagano is back, and he is a noted DBs coach. Don't be surprised to see Vontae's play get better if Pagano spends more time working with him and honing his technique.