In what was perhaps the most embarrassing loss I’ve ever watched as a Colts fan, the Colts lost to a 1-7 Miami team at home. The offense did not click at all throughout the game and Vinatieri once again cost the team points and a chance to send it to overtime. Overall, this game served to confirm a general feeling among Colts fans: This team is not a contender yet.
MVP of the Game: Darius Leonard
A week after taking home “The Grigsy”, Darius Leonard rebounded tremendously and had perhaps the best game of his career. The Maniac finished the game with 13 tackles, one sack, two tackles for loss, a fumble recovery, and an interception (that was actually a pick 6 but the refs botched it). Leonard once again looked like the high-motor leader of the defense that is always near the ball and makes plays on crucial moments, and that is a welcome sight for Colts fans.
Honorable Mentions: Khari Willis, Jack Doyle
Dud of the Game (The Grigsy): Brian Hoyer
After playing relatively well against an above-average Steeler defense at Heinz Field, I expected Hoyer to tear up the Dolphins at home, especially after having a full week of practice with the first unit. Instead, Hoyer had the worst game I have seen from a Colts quarterback in quite some time, and his 3 interceptions were all extremely costly. The Dolphins could not move the ball efficiently against the Colts and had it not been for the field position after the picks, they would not have gotten points.
Honorable Mentions: Eric Ebron, Adam Vinatieri
Play of the Game: Darius Leonard’s interception
With little time left in the 3Q and the Colts down 10-6, Ryan Fitzpatrick threw a pass right into the hands of Darius Leonard on Miami’s 34 yard line. The play was supposedly whistled dead, but Leonard clearly returned the ball for a touchdown.
Worst Play of the Game: Probably 35 of Hoyer’s 39 throws
If my count is correct, I saw just 4 well-thrown balls by Hoyer throughout the entire game. The other 35 pass attempts were eerily reminiscent of the days of Curtis Painter. We Colts fans have been spoiled by excellent quarterback play. I mean, Titans fans might be used to this kind of performance, but we are definitely not, so this one hurt a lot to watch.
Best Position Group: Secondary
I was tempted to give this one to the linebackers but it would have been only because of Darius Leonard’s MVP game. I think all players in the secondary had a fairly good game on Sunday, albeit against perhaps the worst receiving core in the NFL. Kenny Moore II was solid as usual, and continues to show that he is an elite open field tackler. Khari Willis continues to impress me and is looking more and more like the steal of the draft. Marvell Tell and Rock Ya-Sin were also solid on the outside and helped shut down the Dolphins passing attack.
Unsung Hero: Grover Stewart
Even though he made a dumb mistake on what should have been a roughing the passer call, Stewart once again had a good game in the interior of the line. He keeps eating into Margus Hunt’s snaps, as he is an above-average run defender who can also bring some pressure. It also helps that he is the only Colts D-lineman above 300 pounds.
Rookie of the Week: Khari Willis
What a gem Ballard has found. Willis is the absolute perfect complement to Malik Hooker, and the two will be the Colts starting safeties for the foreseeable future. Willis finished the game with 8 tackles, most of which were run stops, and a tackle for loss. What surprises me the most about him is that the majority of his tackles come near the LOS on run stops, not tackling a tight end after getting beat in the passing game (Anyone remember Laron Landry?).