Good morning, Colts fans! Even though yesterday we lost to the Titans and all seems bleak at the moment, we can take solace in the fact that Draft season is now officially upon us! For the Titans fans reading this: Congratulations, guys! Your team defeated a team without its top 5 offensive weapons, and the game was much closer than the final score indicates. Without further ado, here are your awards for yesterday’s so called football game.
MVP of the Game: Darius Leonard
The Maniac had one hell of a game and continues with his impressive second half of the season. This time he finished with 11 tackles, 2 sacks, a tackle for loss and a quarterback hit. Even though he missed a couple of tackles on Derrick Henry (not much to be upset there, guy is a beast), Leonard was all over the field, and he was one of the main reasons the Colts defense had such a good game on Sunday.
Honorable Mentions: Zach Pascal, Jack Doyle
Dud of the Game (The Grigsy): Jacoby Brissett
It was clear that the game against the Texans, and the implicit criticism of the coaches, resonated with Jacoby Brissett, as he was perhaps the most aggressive he has been this season and finally aired the ball out. Sadly, the results were even worse than when he took care of the ball. Despite the fact he started off really well, throwing a touchdown pass to Doyle in the Colts first drive, Brissett regressed tremendously from there and looked really bad.
To his credit, Tennessee coach Mike Vrabel did an excellent job pressuring Brissett and forcing him into uncomfortable situations, but some of the decisions Brissett made were just mind-boggling. His 4th quarter interception after the Titans kick-six was as bad of a throw I have seen from a Colts quarterback in quite some time, as he forced it into triple coverage with no Colts near the ball.
Honorable Mention: Bubba Ventrone, special teams coach
Play of the Game: Jack Doyle’s 1Q touchdown
Superb job on the play-action here on 1st and 15 near the red-zone, as Doyle was matched up with Rashaan Evans and got wide open for a touchdown after a good throw by Jacoby. It was a perfect way to start the game, after the defense forced a Derrick Henry fumble on the very first play.
Worst Play of the Game: Blocked FG returned for 6
First things first, Bubba Ventrone needs to be out of this franchise as soon as possible. The special teams unit as a whole has been horrendous this season. Yesterday was no exception, as the Colts lined up for a crucial 46-yarder late in the 4th quarter that would put them up by 3. Instead, the snap was jumped, the field goal was easily blocked and the Titans returned it all the way for 6. This play potentially knocked the Colts out of the playoff race.
Best Position Group: Linebackers
Not only did Darius Leonard have an excellent game yesterday, but also Anthony Walker and rookie Bobby Okereke stepped up to the task. Both Walker and Okereke had a forced fumble, and alongside Leonard they were the stars of the team. This linebacker core looks very promising and should become one of the best in the entire NFL in a few years.
Unsung Hero: Denico Autry
Even though Denico Autry is not having the breakout season expected from him after having a solid season last year, he still has been productive and his play has improved since the emergence of Grover Stewart as the 1-tech starter. Autry was a big reason why the Colts finished the game with 6 sacks, as he was constantly winning his battles.
Rookie of the Week: Bobby Okereke
Bobby Okereke had another solid showing, and had his best play of the season, forcing a Ryan Tannehill that the Colts recovered deep in Titans territory. Okereke continues to flash the athleticism and play-making ability that led to him being selected in the 3rd round by Chris Ballard.