Before the game on Sunday, I offered the two key players who I thought would be imperative to the success of the Colts as they went for their third straight victory on the season. You can find that pregame article linked here.
Let’s take a look at how my players performed:
PHILIP RIVERS (QB)
Rivers certainly did not play his best football on Sunday. He was able to stay away from turning the ball over, but his passes weren’t crisp and he never put together a really strong drive with the passing game.
The one touchdown the Colts did have came on their opening drive after Jordan Glasgow blocked a punt that put the Colts around midfield with the ball. After several penalties and a couple key passes to Zach Pascal, Rivers was able to find Mo Alie-Cox in the end zone for six points and a good PAT putting the Colts up seven early in the first quarter.
The touchdown to Alie-Cox wound up being his only reception of the day on only two targets. I was surprised to see him get so little attention after two very strong games prior to this one. Part of this is because tight end Trey Burton made his Colts debut after coming back from injury so that took up some of Alie-Cox’s work load. I’m not sure how much of an effect this had on Rivers’ performance, but his connection with Alie-Cox seems really strong.
It is also worth noting that the wide receiving core is missing Parris Campbell and Michael Pittman Jr who are both impact players on this offense. Not having either of them out on the field proved to be a struggle for the Colts this week.
On the day, Rivers completed just 16 of his 29 pass attempts, good for 190 yards and a touchdown. His completion percentage was only 55.2%, but he did have to go up against a strong Bears defense.
Tough games like this are bound to happen, no team can be amazing every single game. Expect Rivers and the offense as a whole to bounce back soon.
DARIUS LEONARD (LB)
The Colts defense had another fantastic performance on Sunday and held the Bears to just 11 points. As great as this was, the defense was hurt once again with another injury. This time, it wound up being my pregame pick for defensive player of the game, Darius Leonard.
Leonard played just 45% of defensive snaps for the Colts and missed the entire second half of play. He recorded just one tackle on the game before heading to the locker room with an apparent groin injury.
Per #Colts HC Frank Reich, Darius Leonard (groin) is their only injury of note. They'll keep tabs on his status in the coming days.— Jake Arthur (@JakeArthurNFL) October 4, 2020
Fortunately, for the Colts, as great as Leonard is, Bobby Okereke stepped in and played very well in Leonard’s place. Okereke ended the game with eight total tackles, six of which were solo, and one tackle for loss.
Even without Leonard on the field in the second half, the Colts did not skip a beat. Many of the younger guys on the team stepped up big including rookie safety Julian Blackmon, who recorded his first interception on the season.
Another big test awaits the Colts next week as they head to Cleveland to take on the 3-1 Browns.