Around halftime of the game yesterday, I made a comment that it was shaping up to be a game that the Colts would play so poorly, yet come away with a win.
Well, I was half right. The Colts did come away with a win, but definitely did not play poorly in the second half. I would go so far as to say this was the most fun I've had watching a Colts game this year. And yes, that includes the win over Denver.
But let's get to some awards.
MVP - Donte Moncrief
#FeedMoncrief certainly seemed to be the motto of the Colts offense yesterday. It seemed that almost any time the Colts needed a play, especially on third down, they turned to Moncrief.
The second year receiver was all over the place, and Tampa Bay didn't have an answer for him. Moncrief hauled in eight catches for 114 yards, leading the team, and the game, in both categories.
Moncrief has quietly having himself a very good season. He leads the Colts in catches, first downs, and receiving touchdowns (he is tied with T.Y. Hilton), and is second, only to Hilton, in all other receiving categories.
I don't know about the rest of you, but I would love to see the Colts continue to get Moncrief the ball even more.
Not the Blueprint Award - Matt Hasselbeck
I can almost guarantee you that having Hasselbeck drop back to throw 42 times is not what the Colts set out to do.
However, on a day where the running game wasn't working at all (more on that later), the Colts needed to throw, and Hasselbeck answered the call. The 40-year-old (obligatory age mention) went 26 of 42 for 312 yards, two scores, and no turnovers. While he was sacked three times, it didn't seem like he was seeing too much pressure either.
Hasselbeck was firing passes on the mark for a majority of the game and, with the exception of an awful 2-minute drill to end the half, played very, very well. Still, I would bet that the Colts are hoping Hasselbeck doesn't need to throw the ball 40+ times a game too often.
It Takes Two Award - T.Y. Hilton
Donte Moncrief had a great game, obviously since I gave him the MVP honors. But let's not overlook Hilton's performance either.
After a couple of games where he wasn't very involved, Hilton showed up in a big way against the Buccaneers. Hilton hauled in six catches for 95 yards and two scores. His second touchdown effectively put the game away.
Hilton is also having a solid season, but hasn't been terrible consistent. Yes, that has a lot to do with the quarterback situation (and the playcalling), but when he is getting involved and playing well, like he was on Saturday, it's fun to watch.
Running of the Bulls Award - Colts Defense
Right before a killer penalty that gave Tampa Bay a first down, the announcers dropped an interesting nugget of information.
The Colts sack Jameis Winston five times, and it was the most Winston had been sacked in a game ALL YEAR.
Yes, the Colts pass rush registered the most sacks that the Bucs had given up all season. Even Trent Cole had a sack!
I was shocked when I heard this, and can only hope this is a trend moving forward.
Leaping Award - Tampa Bay
First of all, "Leaping" was entirely the wrong call in yesterday's game. On the play in question, "Roughing the Holder" should have been called. It would have had the same result, so it didn't really matter.
I just thought it was funny that is was the Bucs, of all teams, that were called for "Leaping" against the Colts. There's some history there.
LVP - Rush Offense
Remember earlier in the season when week in and week out I complained that the Colts needed to give Frank Gore the rock a bit more? Be careful what you wish for I guess.
The Colts could not run the ball at all. As a team, the Colts literally averaged a hair over 1 yard per carry. That's horrid.
Yes, there are a couple of reasons for this. Anthony Castonzo's absence probably hurt. The fact that teams are stacking the line a bit more with Hasselbeck in hurts. However, I don't think there's any excuse for this poor of a running performance. If we wanted a starting running back to rush 19 times for 24 yards, we would have been happy with Trent Richardson.
It was another good win for the Colts, as Hasselbeck solidified his status as the leagues' best back-up by going to 4-0 on the season. The Colts hold a slight edge in the AFC South due to their victory over the resurgent Houston Texans (also sitting at 6-5).
Next up for the Colts is a trip to Pittsburgh, where they have historically struggled tremendously.