A lazy narrative this past 8 weeks was that Hines was not getting enough touches compared to last season when in reality the numbers were:
- 2020 (First 8 games): 61 touches, 3.24 yards per carry, 6.29 yards per target, 4 touchdowns
- 2021 (First 8 games): 55 touches, 3.34 yards per carry, 5.28 yards per target, 1 touchdown
Hines was not as effective with his limited touches as he was last season, and he was not as consistent as a receiver, which is supposed to be his calling card. However, Hines had his breakout game of the season against the Jets, racking up 74 rushing yards and a score on the ground, while adding 4 receptions for 34 yards, making this his first game this season with 100+ scrimmage yards.
Who had Taylor Stallworth for breakout defensive lineman? Certainly not me. The 26-year old journeyman had a career game against the Jets, and probably earned himself a bigger snap share on a defensive line unit that has been underperforming so far. Stallworth had 2 sacks, a quarterback hit, and a hurry in just 20 pass rushing snaps, while also getting the key batted pass to seal the game.
After a slow start to his third season, Okereke has been slowly improving lately, and followed a great game against the Titans with another solid performance against the Jets, getting 11 tackles and the interception late in the 4th. The Colts’ linebacker group has no viable starters other than Leonard/Okereke, so both of them playing good football is imperative for the Colts’ success on defense.
What more is there to say about not only one of the best running backs in the NFL but one of the best offensive players overall. After struggling a little over the first 3 weeks of the season, Taylor has 650 rushing yards on 6.63 yards per carry while also adding 223 receiving yards on just 15 receptions. As if that was not enough, he also has 9 touchdowns in this 6 game span. Taylor is cementing himself as a frontrunner for the Offensive Player of the Year award, so keep an eye on that one.
While I definitely am not one of Reich’s biggest fans, and his issues with consistency continue to bother me, there is a number fans just cannot ignore and that is that the Colts have scored 30+ points over their last 4 games. The offense seems to be clicking really well and is finally getting healthy.
While he is dealing with a calf injury, Rhodes just has not been the same this season after enjoying a comeback campaign with the Colts last year. The veteran cornerback is always a step late and has not been the surest tackler, sometimes not even making any sort of effort in that area of the game. With young cornerbacks Isaiah Rodgers and Rock Ya-Sin playing good football, don’t be surprised if Rhodes’ snaps start to go down.
Against one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL, AQM once again showed he is just not a productive pass rusher from the edge. On a game where Kwity Paye got 9 total pressures on the quarterback, Muhammad just had 2. Over the past three weeks:
- Kwity Paye: 14 total pressures, 102 PR snaps (13.7%)
- DeForest Buckner: 9 total pressures, 107 PR snaps (8.41%)
- Taylor Stallworth: 5 total pressures, 33 PR snaps (15.15%)
- Al-Quadin Muhammad: 5 total pressures, 97 PR snaps (5.15%)
- Grover Stewart: 5 total pressures, 54 PR snaps (9.25%)
Losing Julian Blackmon and Khari Willis for the year is huge for this defense, especially considering Ballard failed to address the depth in this position in the offseason. Andrew Sendejo and George Odum are not players you want to see manning the backend of the defense, and I expected at least a minor move to try and handle this, but it looks like the Colts will just roll out the Sendejo/Odum duo for the rest of the season.