Braden Smith/Le’Raven Clark Vs. Myles Garrett
Garrett abused the Colts’ tackles all game long. Reich tried some different things to double-team Garrett or get him off his game, but he is just too good. Without AC, it was impossible to stop Garrett. He was the main reason the Colts offense could not get anything going, as he was always in the backfield or on Rivers’ face. Ballard needs to find Castonzo’s replacement this offseason because the Colts seem to lose every single game he misses.
T.Y Hilton Vs. Denzel Ward
Hilton had a much better game than I expected from him. It also helps that he had 10 balls thrown his way, but he caught 6 of those for 69 yards. T.Y is not on the same page with Rivers yet, but they have shown some chemistry that was not seen at all with Brissett last year. If the quarterback and receiver can iron out some stuff, they can help each other, and more importantly, the Colts’ offense.
Grover Stewart Vs. J.C Tretter
The Colts run defense was absolutely amazing against the tough ground game of the Browns. Sure, Cleveland was without top running back Nick Chubb, and OG Wyatt Teller went down early in the game, but the Colts were also without Darius Leonard. Grover Stewart was once again a big part of why the Colts front 7 is so efficient plugging up running lanes and preventing big gains. I’ll also give a shoutout to the secondary, whose open field tackling has also been lights out.
Rock Ya-Sin/Xavier Rhodes Vs. Odell Beckham/Jarvis Landry
It was a tale of two halves for the Colts cornerbacks. In the first half, it seemed like Mayfield was always finding open receivers. In the second half, Indy managed to keep both Beckham and Landry in check. Rhodes dropped what would have been a crucial interception, but otherwise he had a solid game. Ya-Sin continues his stretch of solid performances, and he shows plenty of potential.
Matt Eberflus Vs. Baker Mayfield
I’ll be honest with you, I was skeptical about Eberflus’ success on defense and thought it was only the result of playing mediocre offenses. Now, after watching the Vikings orchestrate some solid showings, and playing really well against the Browns, I think this defense is legit. Eberflus still has his flaws, and I’m not a fan of not adapting the soft zone schemes when the opposing quarterback is not making any mistakes, but I’m excited for the future of this defense.