Jonathan Taylor Vs. Fred Warner
After a tough start to the game, fumbling on his very first carry, Taylor settled down and had himself yet another tremendous game, rushing for 107 yards and a score on 18 carries. Despite the Niners locking in on the run every other play, Taylor managed to make something out of nothing every time, and his explosive runs helped keep key drives alive. He did fumble another time later in the game, but luckily for him, it was recovered by Ashton Dulin.
Colts’ pass rush Vs. A hobbled Jimmy G
Yet another rough outing for the Colts pass-rushing-wise, as the 49ers misdirection and play-action passes helped create clean pockets for Garoppolo. So far the Colts have been among the worst teams in the NFL at pressuring opponents’ quarterbacks, and teams that cannot generate pressure rarely make the playoffs. Rookie edge rusher Kwity Paye had his best game of the season so far, racking up 3 pressures. The lack of pass rush is a worrying recurring theme this year and the only hope the Colts have right now is that Dayo Odeyingbo makes an immediate impact upon returning.
Eric Fisher Vs. Nick Bosa
Despite understandably struggling on a few snaps against one of the most talented edge rushers in the NFL, Eric Fisher had a somewhat decent game taking into account the context. Fisher is still clearly getting back to 100% from that Achilles tear, and once he does he probably will be a serviceable tackle. In the meantime, and considering how well Matt Pryor has been playing as of late, the Colts have to start wondering whether Pryor or Braden Smith are better options than Fisher.
Matt Eberflus Vs. Kyle Shanahan
While it appeared that Shanahan had the upper hand early, running the ball at will against the Colts defense, Eberflus recovered and, thanks in part to the elements, managed to mostly contain the 49ers offense throughout the game. It should be mentioned that they did struggle to cover anyone on a 3-play drive that resulted in a touchdown to put the Niners down just two points early in the fourth. Against better teams, the Colts have to be able to play an entire game’s worth of defense, and will not be able to afford the luxury of disappearing entirely for a couple of drives each game.
Michael Badgley Vs. The weather/Inconsistency
Michael Badgley was perfect on all 4 of his kicks in the toughest environment to kick in. The most important kick was a 42-yard field goal to put the Colts up 23-18 and forcing the Niners to score a touchdown. So far Badgley has been great in Blankenship’s absence, and at the very least should be getting a shot at a kicking competition versus Hot Rod once he is healthy.