The Indianapolis Colts went into Sunday’s game on the back of a dominant win, having beaten the Minnesota Vikings in week 2. The Colts came up against a team riddled with injuries and looked to be falling apart at the seems this week in the New York Jets, who were on a two-game losing streak. There were a lot of strong showings during the 36-7 win, and a few poor ones, as well.
Xavier Rhodes did something spectacular this past Sunday: He not only intercepted Jets quarterback Sam Darnold, but did so twice, and managed to return one for a touchdown. Rhodes was exceptional in coverage Sunday, showing the dominance that the Colts wanted Rhodes to bring to the team at cornerback when they signed him to a 1-year “Prove it” deal in free agency. Rhodes bounced back from a poor Week 1 showing against the Jaguars with two good games in a row now in Weeks 2 and 3.
Chris Ballard went bargain shopping for cornerbacks this offseason when he signed Xavier Rhodes and TJ Carrie to 1-year deals in free agency. Carrie provides great depth and the versatility that the Colts need at cornerback, but has had to play more than originally expected due to Rock Ya-Sin missing time. Carrie, like Rhodes, showed out this Sunday ,playing well in coverage and also managing to intercept Darnold too (and score on his interception, as well!). Carrie has played so well the Colts haven’t missed Ya-Sin nearly as much as they originally thought they would.
The Maniac was nothing short of his typical maniac self on Sunday. Darius Leonard was coming off a week in which he set a new career mark, having eclipsed 300 career tackles in just 30 games as a pro. He didn’t slow down whatsoever. Leonard was all over the field breaking up passes against tight ends, stuffing running backs in the backfield for a loss, and racking up tackles around the line of scrimmage. Leonard did it all Sunday, producing 11 tackles, 1 tackle for a loss and a pass defended.
The Colts offense prides itself on having an elite Offensive Line, which blocks at a high level against both the run and pass. The Colts offensive line did not play anywhere near to the level it normally does. Quenton Nelson, the best player along the Colts line, was even off his normal elite level of play, getting beaten at times and being pushed back causing plays to fail. It wasn’t just Nelson, however, it was the whole offensive line having a bad day. The entire unit had continuous negative plays in which they either got beat for a loss in the run game or allowed pressure in Rivers face. The Colts did manage to keep Rivers from getting sacked and also managed to block for the running backs to gain over 100 yards rushing. With that said, they were no where near the level they should be at in general, let alone against the subpar defense of the New York Jets. The whole unit needs to step up and return to its dominant level of play or it will severely hinder the Colts offense’s potential going forward.