The Indianapolis Colts went into Sunday’s game on the back of a hard fought win, having beaten the Denver Broncos. The Colts came up against a very good defense this week and also played most of the game with their backup quarterback, and unfortunately lost. There were plenty of strong showings during the 26-24 loss, and a few poor ones, as well.
Here’s the stock report for week 8:
Stock up: Zach Pascal
TY Hilton was ruled out for 3-4 weeks and the Colts were begging for one of the other wide receivers to step up in his absence. Pascal did EXACTLY that and then some! He produced 5 catches (on 6 targets) for 76 yards and a touchdown. Hilton’s status is still very uncertain going forward, and the Colts need a WR1 in his absence. Pascal has made that situation a whole lot easier to manage.
Stock Down: Darius Leonard
Darius Leonard had his worst game as a pro against the Steelers. He looked slow to react in play recognition, appeared lost, at times, and missed chances to make plays on several occasions. On top of his sloppy play, he was also called for two big penalties, both for unnecessary roughness. The first one lead to a Steelers field goal, 3 big points which ended up being the difference in the end result.
Stock Up: Marlon Mack
On a day of poor play and the offense without its number 1 quarterback and wide receiver, they needed someone to step up and produce. Mack came into the game off the back of a tough outing against the Broncos' defense. Mack has proved week in, week out that he is a top running back in the league. His patience, vision and burst is excellent. Mack was a consistent force on the offense, producing 89 yards rushing against a good Steelers defense.
Stock Down: Special Teams
From missed kicks, poor snaps and holding to fumbled returns, the special teams play on Sunday was awful. Adam Vinatieri missed a extra point kick and a field goal. Parris Campbell fumbled a kick return, but luckily Zach Pascal recovered it. Luke Rhodes' poor snap, coupled with Rigoberto Sanchez turning the laces towards Vinatieri lead to the game-winning field goal miss. Overall, a very poor showing.
Stock Up: Marvell Tell
No Pierre Desir, due to a nagging hamstring injury, and Quincy Wilson as a healthy scratch led to Marvell Tell getting more snaps. With the increase in Tell’s playing time, he showed out in a big way. In coverage, he only allowed 3 catches on 5 targets for just 26 yards with one pass breakup and added a forced fumble which was recovered by the Colts. If Tell continues to play well and develop further, he could see himself being a permanent fixture on the Colts defense.
Stock Down: Pass protection
The Colts all year have managed to be a a good team protecting the quarterback. However, last week against Denver, the offensive line allowed 4 sacks and this Sunday they allowed 5. The Colts have talent across the line, but the last 2 weeks they haven’t performed when they have needed to. It was a poor showing. Even Anthony Castonzo and Quenton Nelson, two of the Colts best two offensive linemen, had bad games, allowing pressures and sacks at crucial times.