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Reflecting on Key Colts Players: Week 9 vs Baltimore

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Indianapolis Colts Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Colts continue to dominate on defense, but ultimately lost to the Ravens on Sunday, 24-10. The offense could never get into a rhythm and after a controversial interception by Philip Rivers, the momentum never got back on Indy’s side.

Prior to Sunday’s game I offered two players who I thought were keys for the Colts to come out with a victory. That article is linked here.

Let’s see how my players did.


OFFENSE

Marcus Johnson (WR)

I picked Marcus Johnson for a couple of reasons, but the main reason is because the Colts receiving core continues to play below expectations, and one of the only exceptions to this was Marcus Johnson.

Coming into Sunday’s game, Johnson was averaging over 20 yards per receptions with six of his eleven receptions being gains of more than 20.

Sunday was a little different. Johnson was targeted by Rivers on seven different occasions, but he was only able to pull in two catches for a total of 14 yards.

On one play, Rivers was targeting Johnson for a deep ball, but the pass went to Johnson’s left side while he was running and looking to the right. The pass was incomplete and after the play, the camera zoomed in on Rivers showing him say something along the lines of, “Where was he going?” to the sideline.

It is hard to say if it was Johnson’s fault, Rivers’ fault, or just miscommunication, but that play could have turned the whole game around and is a pass that these past couple weeks Johnson likely would have caught.

It was another sluggish week on offense for the Colts, who seem to be on one week and off the next.

Entering the toughest stretch of the schedule, the receiving core as well as Rivers will need to step up their games to remain in the playoff race.


DEFENSE

Darius Leonard (LB)

The defense continues to step up their game week after week, and they proved their run defense is dominant yet again against one of the best rushing teams in the NFL.

While the Colts lost the game, Leonard was putting up absurd numbers. He accumulated 15 total tackles, 13 of which were solo tackles which is the most in a single game of any player this season.

Leonard was all over the field, and was maybe the biggest reason why the Colts defense played so well. It is also worth mentioning that Leonard had one tackle for loss which contributed to the team’s total of 11 in that category.

Leonard played a huge role in containing Lamar Jackson in this game, with several key tackles on quarterback keepers.

Leonard was on the ground with an injury in the 3rd quarter of the game, but came right back onto the field to play and was not mentioned by Reich in the post game press conference when he went through the list of injured players.

If Leonard and the rest of the defense can continue to produce at this high of a level, the Colts will put themselves in a good position to win games. It all depends on the offense at that point.