The Indianapolis Colts went into Sunday’s game on the back of a big time loss against one of the their AFC division rivals in the Pittsburgh Steelers in week 16 needing a win and some help to get in the playoffs. The Colts came up against a team who were on a fifteen game losing streak having been beaten convincingly the previous week by the Baltimore Ravens. There were some strong showings during the 28-14 win against the Jacksonville Jaguars and a few poor ones, as well.
Jonathan Taylor had himself a historic day Sunday. Taylor has been amazing the past month or so and continued that even taking it up a notch. Taylor produced 33 rushes for a whopping 253 yards and two touchdowns. Taylor went over 1,000 yards for the season, broke the franchise single game rushing record and also won the rookie rushing title for the year. Taylor finishes the season with 1,169 yards rushing, 11 rushing touchdowns and also added 299 yards receiving and a receiving touchdown. The Colts need to ride Taylor into the playoffs.
DeForest Buckner continued his dominant first year with the Indianapolis Colts. Buckner has been amazing from day one since the Colts traded for him bringing him over from the San Francisco 49ers. Buckner yesterday was his typical disruptive self, he produced 4 tackles, 2 tackles for a loss, 2 quarterback hits and 2 sacks. Buckner has been a revelation for the Colts all year and broke the Colts franchise record for sacks from the defensive tackle position with 9.5 sacks on the season.
Darius Leonard had a typical Maniac type game that the Colts and fans have been so accustomed to see him produce. Leonard was all over the field on Sunday producing a 10 tackle, 1 quarterback hit, 1 sack, 2 passes defended and a force fumble. Leonard sparked a huge momentous play when he blitzed from his linebacker position and went untouched to the Jaguars quarterback sacking him and forcing a fumble, the fumble was recovered by the Colts. Leonard needs to keep this type of strong performance going into the playoffs.
The Colts third quarter struggles continued in week 17. The Colts went into half time leading 20-7, and at the beginning of the fourth quarter the Colts still only had 20 points but had let the Jaguars back into the game when they scored a touchdown. The Colts since the week 12 the Colts have scored just 13 total points in the third quarter. For the season the Colts have only scored touchdowns on just 13.3% of their third quarter drives. If the Colts want to go deep into the playoffs this has to change.
Rodrigo Blankenship had a game to forget on Sunday. Blankenship had only missed 3 field goals all year out of 33 attempts. However, he added two more missed field goals this Sunday, missing from distances of 56 yards and 49 yards. The 56 yard field goal was accurate but didn’t have the length on it, whereas the 49 yard field goal had the length but hit off the right upright. Blankenship has been a great kicker this year for the Colts and has exceeded all expectations especially considering this is his first year in the league.