MVP of the Game: Philip Rivers
It seems like every week Philip Rivers is either the MVP or the worst player of the game. Luckily, yesterday we saw the good side of him. Rivers did a really good job picking apart the Packers’ suspect passing defense, and his pocket awareness allowed him to escape several pressures from the right side of the line. His lone interception was tipped at the line, so it is not entirely on Rivers (even though it was the fault of his awkward throwing motion) and he made a lot of beautiful throws like the touchdown to Trey Burton.
Dud of the Game (The Grigsy): Chaz Green, Le’Raven Clark.
Honorable mention to the refs here, who were as bad as I have ever seen in my life, but leaving that behind, the Colts’ offensive line depth is atrocious. Clark was benched after the first drive because of a holding penalty, but Chaz Green was no better. The Colts’ backup tackles could not contain Za’Darius Smith in the passing game and did not make an impact in the running game. Glowinski also suffered a lot from not having Braden Smith by his side.
Play of the Game: Julian Blackmon forced fumble in OT
Julian Blackmon's forced fumble helps seal the Colts' OT win over the Packers— The Athletic NFL (@TheAthleticNFL) November 23, 2020
The Packers got the ball first in overtime, and I have to admit I was not that confident in the Colts winning this one. Julian Blackmon made a great play, busting between two blockers to get a hand on the ball and forcing it out of Marquez Valdes-Scantling’s hands. Buckner recovered, and new fan favorite Rodrigo Blankenship nailed the GW field goal.
Worst Play of the Game: Rock Ya-Sin’s DPI near the end of the half
With the Packers having the ball on their 45-yard line with no more timeouts, I believed the worst case scenario was Rodgers getting his usual improbable completion to Davante Adams near the sideline setting up a field goal. Instead, Rodgers chucked it deep to MVS who drew a pass interference call on Rock Ya-Sin. The call was not obvious, but the fact remains that Ya-Sin was left in single coverage deep, and he grabbed the arm of the Packers’ receiver. After the flag, the Packers got a touchdown and went into halftime up two scores.
Best Position Group: Running Backs
All position groups had a fairly good game yesterday, but the running backs were the only ones consistent throughout the game. Taylor had his best game as a pro, as he was really effective on the ground. Wilkins was effective as usual on limited carries, and Hines was a threat receiving.
Unsung Hero: DeForest Buckner
I know, how can the offseason’s top acquisition be the unsung hero? Buckner makes an impact on games that goes way beyond numbers. First of all, he was consistently drawing double, or even triple teams on the inside, and even then he somehow managed to get penetration. He had a tackle on a Rodgers’ scramble that was all hustle and saved the Colts plenty of yards, and he used his massive wingspan to corral the fumble in overtime. Buckner has transformed this defense.
Rookie of the Week: Julian Blackmon
If you look at the stats, then the DROY should go to Jeremy Chinn or Antoine Winfield Jr., but if you measure impact on a winning team, then it is Blackmon no doubt. Yesterday was the third game-defining play he made this season, which is two more than I have seen from previous starter Malik Hooker in his entire career (only one I can remember being the Giants’ interception to seal the game a couple of seasons ago).