Another week, another tough loss for the Colts, who are now 1-5 over their last 6 games and essentially out of the playoff race. Yesterday’s game was a shootout where the Colts offense could not capitalize on the turnovers forced by the defense late in the 4th quarter, and yet another costly field goal miss ended up being the difference in a 3 point game.
MVP of the Game: Darius Leonard
For the second week in a row, The Maniac takes home the MVP of the game award. Leonard had perhaps his best game of the season, as he was literally everywhere on the field, racking up 9 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and 2 interceptions, one returned for a touchdown. It is certainly encouraging to watch Darius Leonard return to his All-Pro form after struggling a bit with injuries and poor play early on in the season. Let’s just hope this time he finally gets selected to the Pro-Bowl as he deserves.
Honorable Mentions: Marcus Johnson, Zach Pascal
Dud of the Game (The Grigsy): Pierre Desir
Pierre Desir has not been having a good season after signing a 3-year extension in the past off-season. He earned a reputation as a DeAndre Hopkins killer, but this season that narrative has certainly been erased. Desir struggled again yesterday, as he was covering Evans on his 61 yard touchdown early in the game, and seemed a step behind all game long. My guess is that he is not fully recovered from his hamstring injury, and has not been playing at 100%, so with the season already in the gutter, the best bet might be to just shut him down.
Honorable Mentions: Jack Doyle, Rolan Milligan
Play of the Game: Darius Leonard 82 yard pick-six
With under 3 minutes remaining in the first half, and the Colts up by 3 points, the Bucs were driving down the field with ease before Darius Leonard had an excellent play where he faked as if he was rushing the passer before dropping back into coverage and making a play on the ball. Then, he proceeded to return the interception 82 yards to the house, putting the Colts up 24-14. Unfortunately, right after this play the Bucs drove the length of the field and scored on an 11 play, 2 minute drive. Perhaps because Leonard, and most of the defense were gassed after the pick 6.
Worst Play of the Game: Offensive Execution on last 3 drives
The last 3 drives were simply horrible for the Colts offense. On the first, Nyheim Hines coughed up the ball in Buccaneers territory and cost the team a chance at a field goal, as he was reaching for extra yards on 3rd down before fumbling the ball. After that, the Colts defense came up big and forced an interception, but the Colts ended up actually losing yards before kicking a 47 yard field goal that hit the upright and went out. Then, the Bucs scored a touchdown that put the Indy down 38-35, and on the Colts final drive JB turned the ball over on downs after a ridiculous play where the ball was tipped back to him and he tried to lateral it to Jack Doyle. Just nonsense all around.
Best Position Group: Wide Receivers
This is more of a lack of contenders than a good game by the receivers. The defense was horrible all-around, the offensive line failed to establish the running game and did not have a good game in pass protection, and the tight ends were almost invisible. So, because of how Pascal and Johnson played, the receivers earn this award.
Unsung Hero: Justin Houston
Houston has been having himself quite a season, and yesterday was no exception. He was even better after left tackle Donovan Smith was forced out of the game with an injury, and he finished with 5 tackles, a sack and 2 tackles for loss.
Rookie of the Week: Rock Ya-Sin
Rock had a solid overall game both in coverage and tackling. He made a couple of good plays on the ball and made no major mistakes before exiting the game with a stinger. After facing the typical struggles of a rookie cornerback, Ya-Sin has been improving his play lately and is starting to show why he was the Colts’ first selection in last year’s draft.