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Monday Morning Awards: Week 15 vs. Texans

NFL: Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

MVP of the Game: DeForest Buckner

On a snap count, on an injured ankle, Buckner was a force when he was on the field. Racking up 3 sacks and 4 QB hits, Buckner once again proved why he is the best IDL in football not named Aaron Donald. His ability to completely collapse a pocket from the inside is something I have never witnessed from a Colts IDL, and he can even get past double teams. Credit where credit is due, while for most of the season it was Buckner collapsing pockets for the edge rushers to collect sacks, yesterday it was the other way around, as Houston, Turay, and Autry generated a lot of pressure from the edges forcing Watson to step into the pocket and right to Buckner’s massive arms.

Dud of the Game (The Grigsy): Pass-Defense after the first quarter

Watson tore this secondary apart, and his main targets were David Johnson, Keke Coutee, Brandin Cooks, and Jordan Akins. That is not a receiving core to be afraid of, especially considering just how stacked most AFC passing offenses are. The Colts’ secondary will need to be better, at least against Pittsburgh’s passing attack.

Play of the Game: Darius Leonard punch out to seal the win

Darius has not been having a great season by his own standards, but he is still among the best linebackers in the game. Yesterday, with the game on the line, he proved exactly why. After Coutee managed to convert on 4th down and looked set for the endzone, Leonard made a great play from behind to violently punch the ball out, and Okereke recovered in the endzone.

Worst Play of the Game: Texans’ 38-yard wide-open TD

Yikes, busted coverage here allowed the Texans to jump right back into the game, right when the Colts were dominating and it seemed like we were on course for an easy win. This was the play that got the Texans’ passing game going.

Best Position Group: Defensive Line

Had the secondary managed to cover just half a second longer throughout the game, the Colts would have probably finished with double-digit sacks. Buckner looks dominant, Houston and Autry had really good games (albeit against a backup right tackle), and Turay is finally starting to show some flashes.

Unsung Hero: Zach Pascal

Being completely honest, Pascal might probably be the Colts’ best receiver over the last 2 seasons. At least he is the most consistent. His run-blocking is always on point, and despite always starting the year at #4/5 in the depth chart, he is just always there. Yesterday was a big game for him, as he racked up over 75 yards and 2 scores.

Rookie of the Week: Jonathan Taylor

JT just keeps on rolling, as yesterday he had 95 yards from scrimmage and a score on 20 touches. Taylor has been on fire over the last 4 games, as he has 509 yards on 84 touches (6.05 yards per touch) and 4 scores. If he can keep this hot streak going then the Colts offense will finally be able to take some pressure off the defense,