I don't know about the rest of you, but Sunday's win seemed like an odd game to me. For a majority of the game, it was almost boring. Neither team was playing well, but the Falcons seemed to be able to do just enough to maintain a lead.
Then the Colts jumped in front, and the roles were reversed. No majestic comeback, just a quick pick-6 and suddenly the game was changed. It seemed like the definition of "grinding out a win."
Note, I'm not complaining about a Colts win. It was great to knock off a second straight team with a winning record. Plus the Colts maintained their slim lead (via tie-breaker) in the AFC South.
MVP - D'Qwell Jackson
It was a little difficult to pick out an MVP from this game. No Colts players played well enough to really garner the award this week.
I opted for Jackson because (for the most part) he made the plays he needed to. He was the only Colt to record a sack, and ran back Matt Ryan's interception to tie the game at 21. Jackson was kind of a microcosm of the Colts defense. It wasn't perfect, made some mistakes, but was key in the win.
Plus, with the exception of one 39 yard run, Jackson and the rest of the front seven anchored a fairly solid unit that held the Falcons running game in check.
Old Folks Home Award - Matt Hasselbeck and Adam Vinatieri
If you had told me that two 40+ year old players would be key for a major portion of the Colts season, I wouldn't have believed you.
Hasselbeck continues to play well enough to for the Colts to win, despite a horrendous pre-season in which he looked done. He isn't flashy, and is by no means as skilled as Andrew Luck, but I think it's clear that he is the best backup quarterback in football.
Adam Vinatieri has also returned to form very well. After he missed his first two field goals of the season, he hasn't missed since. Even at this stage in his career, Vinatieri continues to kick at an elite level, and is a player who most NFL teams would still love to have on their roster.
Before the season, a lot of fans, and media alike, noted the Colts were like an old-folks home with the signing of potential impact players Frank Gore, Andre Johnson, and Trent Cole. Who knew the biggest impact would come from the veterans who were already on the roster?
Nice Start Award - Clayton Geathers
I was very impressed with Geathers in his first start (I believe) this season.
Yes, he is a bit raw, especially in coverage, but played an overall good game. It was certainly clear, if nothing else, that Geathers is a hard-hitting safety with a lot of energy. Watching him on the field, he reminded me a bit of Bob Sanders, although he certainly isn't at that level yet.
One play that stood out to me was Davonte Freeman's 39 yard scamper. Freeman made Geathers whiff in the backfield before taking off downfield. Geathers didn't give up on the play, though, and ran down Freeman down the field. Obviously, it would have been nice to see Geathers make the tackle on his first attempt, but I loved seeing him give chase on the play.
No Offense, No Problem Award - Colts Offense
Yeah, there wasn't much offense for the Colts.
Matt Hasselbeck only threw for 213 yards (on 32 attempts) and the team tallied a total of 74 yards on the ground, averaging a measly 2.7 yards on the ground.
In fact, Frank Gore was the team's leading rusher with 34 yards and the leading receiver with 46. Yikes. In total, the Colts rolled up 276 yards of offense. You don't see many teams win in today's NFL with those stats.
What helped, though, was that the Colts kept the Falcons offense in check as well. Matt Ryan threw for under 300 yards as well, and the Falcons leading rusher topped out at 48 yards.
Are Turnovers Important Award - Both teams
Typically, the team the wins the turnover battle comes out on top.
On Sunday, both teams turned the ball over three times, but only once did a team capitalize on a turnover. Out of the six turnovers, Jackson's pick six was the only score off of those. The Falcons punted after one takeaway, threw an interception after one, and missed a field goal on the other. The Colts punted after one takeaway and threw an interception after the other.
Hammer Award - Vontae Davis
You know why. (Couldn't find a video of the hit)
Jack of all Trades Award - Pat McAfee
This was neat. Maybe he should be on the depth chart ahead of Andre Johnson?
LVP - None
This feels weird.
I couldn't come up with anything that stood out for an LVP award. A lot of things weren't great for the Colts, but nothing was egregiously terrible (other than the first touchdown the defense gave up). The much maligned line gave up some hits to Hasselbeck, but only two sacks.
Yes the run gave was horrid, the defense gave up some big plays, mainly to Julio Jones, but I mean...that's normal at this point right? Maybe I'm forgetting something here, but I can't think of a good candidate for this award. If I did forget something horrible, let me know in the comments.