MVP of the Game: Jonathan Taylor
JT is the Colts’ most important offensive player. Last week against the Titans, it was baffling how he got so few touches in the second half. This time, he made the most of his 16 carries, rushing for 103 yards and a score, with two carries for over 20 yards. This offense needs Taylor to get going, both to ease the pressure on Carson Wentz and to get the offensive line going. Let’s just hope that his knee injury does not hold him back and limit his workload.
Dud of the Game (The Grigsy): Julie’n Davenport/Eric Fisher
Davenport might easily be the worst starting tackle in the NFL. Yesterday he was finally benched midway through the second quarter to make way for Matt Pryor, who is nothing special but just by being mediocre, he is a major upgrade. Yesterday, the former Texan allowed an easy sack on 3rd down to Emmanuel Ogbah before being benched, hopefully for good. Eric Fisher gets some slack because he is still coming back from the Achilles injury and he is both getting back to playing form and getting accustomed to a new offense, but he was terrible yesterday, allowing 4 pressures and 1 quarterback hit.
Best Play of the Game: Jonathan Taylor’s 23-yard touchdown
The Colts’ were down 0-3 and it seemed like the offense was laying a goose egg. Prefaced by a key 3rd down completion and an offsides penalty on special teams by the Dolphins, Taylor capped off the unusual drive with a 23-yard touchdown thanks in big part to some smashmouth blocking by the left side of the line.
Worst Play of the Game: Dolphins’ two touchdowns on 4th and goal
The Dolphins faced 4th and goal on two separate occasions and scored on both. The first one was a clear miscommunication between new starting safety Andrew Sendejo and Darius Leonard, where tight end Mike Gesicki was left wide open in the left side of the endzone. The second one was an acrobatic catch by DeVante Parker on a bullet throw by Brissett and likely should not have counted because it appeared that Parker landed out of bounds. The two scores were mostly insignificant, but mistakes like that cannot happen on key downs against good teams. As was evidenced in the games against the Rams, Seahawks, and Titans, good teams beat you when you make those mistakes.
Best Position Group: Defensive Line
The defensive line had the perfect opportunity to break out of their slump, and they took full advantage of it. As a whole, they combined for 15 hurries and 3 sacks, one forced fumble by Grover Stewart, and 13 stops in the run game. Sure, they were facing a terrible offensive line and a quarterback that has a tendency to hold on to the ball way too long, but a performance like this one was desperately needed. Special credit to Kemoko Turay, who finished with 2 sacks and is starting to look more and more like the player he was before his injury.
Unsung Hero: Mo Allie-Cox/Chris Reed
Frank Reich finally realized that Jack Doyle cannot be the starting tight end anymore, and is starting to let MAC loose. The massive tight end responded with his usual impeccable game in run blocking and was a key component in the redzone. He caught two scores, one on an impressive route for a guy his size, and the other on a perfectly placed jump ball where he just went up and outmuscled the defender. Chris Reed filled in for All-Pro left guard Quenton Nelson and did a fine job both in pass protection and in the run game. On an offensive line ravaged by injuries, Reed’s performance was a drop of water in the desert.
Rookie of the Week: Kylen Granson
One catch for just 3 yards is good enough to earn rookie of the week on this team. Kudos to Granson on his first NFL catch, and hopefully he can get more involved in the offense over the next few weeks.