Rock Ya-Sin vs. Tyler Boyd
The Colts cornerbacks managed to keep Tyler Boyd relatively in check, but allowed big games from both Tee Higgins and A.J. Green. Rock has had his worst games against big bodied receivers, and the Bengals have two of them. For Ya-Sin to become the lockdown cornerback he is meant to be, he needs to improve his game against receivers like this.
To analyze this matchup you have to separate the first quarter from the rest of the game. During the first quarter, the Bengals offensive line looked like it was filled with All-Pro caliber players, and dominated the Colts vaunted defensive line. Fortunately, Indy managed to flip the script and turn things back to normal for the rest of the game, keeping Joe Mixon in check while also generating pressure on Burrow. The Colts defensive line desperately needs Kemoko Turay back to generate some pressure from the edge.
Anthony Castonzo/Braden Smith vs. Carl Lawson
The pass protection looked really good on Sunday and as a result Rivers flourished. Carl Lawson was the only Bengals player that managed to get hands on Rivers, but overall the Colts tackles did a fine job of keeping him contained. I would absolutely love to watch Carl Lawson in a Colts’ uniform next season.
T.Y. Hilton vs. Mackensie Alexander
What can I say about T.Y.? At this point, we already have a large enough sample size to claim that his connection with Rivers is just not working, and that T.Y. is not the same receiver he used to be. He has been incredibly unlucky, and I still think his numbers will steadily improve as the season progresses, but he is just not the same player anymore.
Colts Special Teams vs. Bengals Special Teams
The special teams play from both teams was very good, with the only mistake of the day coming from Bengals’ kicker Randy Bullock, who missed a 48-yard field goal off the right upright. That miss cost the Bengals the game, as after a field goal by Rodrigo Blankenship the Colts went up by 4, forcing the the Bengals to score a touchdown, and thanks to Julian Blackmon they did not. The Colts special teams looks like a machine this year, the tackling and coverage on returns is excellent, Jordan Glasgow is emerging as a special teams ace, Rigoberto continues his stretch of dominance, as his placement is impeccable, and Rodrigo is as reliable as he can be. Hats off to Bubba Ventrone.