The Colts welcomed the Packers to Indy on Sunday and left week 11 with a 34-31 victory over one of the best teams the NFL has to offer. There were so many ups and downs all game long, but the Indy defense came up big in the second half, and the offense did just enough to win the game.
Prior to Sunday’s contest, I offered two players that I thought would be keys for the Colts to take down the Packers. You can find that article linked here.
Let’s see how my key players performed.
Nyheim Hines (RB)
Picking a running back was an obvious decision for me this week. The Packers have struggled against the run this season, and coming into Sunday’s game, their two losses featured opponents that ran for over 150 yards.
I chose Hines this week because he has been hot for a couple weeks now and I figured Reich would continue to give him opportunities until his spark went out.
Hines did get his first career start at running back for the Colts on Sunday, but did not put up the numbers I had expected.
On the ground, Hines had six carries for just two yards. In the air, three receptions for 31 yards. One of those catches did come on a key fourth down that Hines brought in for 13 yards.
That play could have and probably should have ended the game, but multiple offensive holding penalties forced the Colts out of field goal range and they punted the ball back to Aaron Rodgers with about a minute and a half to play in the fourth quarter.
Hines also came up big with a successful rushing two-point attempt after a Jack Doyle touchdown. Those two points put the Colts just a field goal away from tying the game, and they did just that on their next possession.
While Hines absolutely was not the shining star this week, he did just enough to make an impact. Jonathan Taylor was the top running back for the Colts on Sunday, and it paid off for Indy. His strong second half helped the Colts win the time of possession battle that the Packers are notoriously good at.
Like I said, the key to this game was in the run. The Packers continued to throw the dime defense out on the field where there are six defensive backs and that makes it much easier to get a run game going. Green Bay didn’t have enough big bodies and Taylor exploited them.
Xavier Rhodes (CB)
Going up against Aaron Rodgers, it’s impossible not to pick a player in the secondary for my key on defense. I went with Xavier Rhodes who has played against Rodgers many times in his career and has been one of the top players on the Indy defense all season long.
Rhodes did not have many crooked numbers on the stat sheet after Sunday’s game. He had one solo tackle, and he played in all 60 snaps for the defense. That’s about it.
In the first half, the Packers were exploiting Rhodes and his inability to break free from a block. I don’t know if it is an agility thing or what, but Green Bay made him look silly on a few plays early on.
In the second half, however, the defense as a whole tightened up big time and Rhodes locked up Davante Adams on a key 3rd down that led to a Packers punt.
The defense gave up just three total points to the Packers in the second half which is extraordinary considering they gave up 28 points in the first half. It seemed like every single player on both sides of the ball for Indy made an impact.