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Highlights from Week 16: Colts vs Panthers

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NFL: Carolina Panthers at Indianapolis Colts Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Overview

Colts fans are likely conflicted following today's 38-6 drubbing of the Carolina Panthers. On one hand it “damages” the teams chances to land an early pick in the 2020 NFL draft, on the other hand it’s always fun to watch your favorite team win by 32 points. No matter your stance on the Draft situation the Colts played well, giving fans something to be hopeful for with one game to go.


First Quarter

Get used to seeing his name

Nyheim Hines had himself a day he isn’t likely to forget. There are a lot of questions we could be asking following a win and one of them has to be, why hasn’t Hines been returning kicks all year?

Six points is six points

Jacoby Brissett went 14 for 27 for 119 yards and this rushing touchdown. Brissett did enough to not lose the Colts the game and sadly, that seems to be who Brissett is. There are worse quarterbacks to have but the Colts should be looking to upgrade the position at all opportunities this off season.

Hines again

After this play the Colts were up by multiple scores and the game never felt close. It was a good day to be a Colt.

Sacks on sacks

Justin Houston has racked up 10 sacks this season after coming over from Kansas City in the off season. Chris Ballard signed the 30 year old pass rusher to a two year contract worth $24 million. So far that contract seems like a bargain and Ballard seems to have found a pass rusher with plenty in the tank.


Second Quarter

The Defense played well

Pierre Desir had a very good day between this pass breakup and a couple plays he made that I’ll cover later, this was the best game he’s played in quite some time.

Marlon Mack

Marlon Mack had a good day going 16 for 95 and this touchdown. Mack also eclipsed 1,000 rushing yards on the season for the first time in his career, in this game.

Anthony Walker with the pick

Walker had 10 tackles a sack and this interception and based on one watch of the game, a very good day. Walker, Bobby Okereke and Darius Leonard all had 10+ tackles today and the Colts linebacking corps seems to be in good hands for years to come.


Third Quarter

Al-Quadin Muhammad

Muhammad had two sacks on the day and benefited from an all around great day from everyone around him.

Wild day on special teams

Ultimately this didn’t matter but it’s never good to give up a fake punt.


Fourth Quarter

Mack’s 1,000th yard

If you’re going to go over 1,000 yards on the season it’s best if it’s on a good run like this one.

Muhammad again

It doesn’t matter how you tackle the quarterback, as long as he goes down with the ball in his hands you get credit for the sack.

Just when I thought we were done seeing exciting plays

I’m not sure how Hines’ day stacks up historically but he had the best day of any Colts punt returner, ever. Hines actually broke a Colts record that had stood since 1956.

Desir didn’t eve have to try

Panthers rookie quarterback Will Greir played in his first NFL game today and while there were plays like this, there were also positives to his performance. If you want to talk about those positives head over to Cat Scratch Reader I’m not that interested in rehashing them here, the Colts got a win.

Jordan Wilkins also had a big day

Any time a team’s second leading rusher has 84 yards and an average of more than 9 ypc, you probably had a pretty good day. Usually.

Just when I thought it was over

Pierre Desir went from 1 interception to 3 interceptions on the season and in a league were 4 interceptions in a season is pretty good, Desir had a very solid day. After his hamstring injury earlier in the year he hasn’t played well for much of the season. I’m not sure if today truly marked his return to form or if it will prove to be an outlier but it was good to see, even if only for this week.


Final Thoughts

I will never root for a Colts loss. In fact, at this point I want nothing more than a win next week in Jacksonville just so I can say the Colts didn’t have a losing season. I understand what it does to the Colts draft position but I trust Chris Ballard to sort that out when the time comes, ultimately I just want to watch my team win and even though it will feel a little hallow it would be better to go into the nine long months without regular season Colts football with a win, rather than a loss.

Go Colts.