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Monday Morning Awards: Week 9 Vs. Jets

New York Jets v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

MVP of the Game: Jonathan Taylor

Another superstar showing for Jonathan Taylor, cementing himself as the best running back in the league now that Derrick Henry is out. Taylor had 21 touches for 200 yards and 2 touchdowns, including an explosive 78-yard touchdown run. When Taylor hits that second gear, it's pretty much over, as he has the two fastest carries by any ball carrier this season. Not only is Taylor absurdly fast, but to complement it, he is showcasing some much-improved vision/patience to hit the hole and the offensive line is also opening up massive lanes in the run game.

Dud of the Game (The Grigsy): Xavier Rhodes

Receivers have been open all season long as cornerback Xavier Rhodes has not been able to replicate the success he found last season in Indy. After struggling with injuries to start off the season, Rhodes has been toast in every game he played, and against the Jets, it was no different. The veteran cornerback allowed 4 completions on 6 targets and a touchdown. If this level of play continues, don’t be surprised if second-year cornerback Isaiah Rodgers starts eating away at his snaps.

Best Play of the Game: JT’s 78-yard TD run

The blocking from the offensive line, the two cuts by Jonathan Taylor to hit the hole, the acceleration leaving everyone behind... Just a beautiful run by JT, who right now is my pick for offensive player of the year.

Worst Play of the Game: Final 4 drives on defense

Right after Jonathan Taylor’s touchdown, and after it seemed like the game was over and we could sit back and enjoy, the Jets offense started completely manhandling this defense. On their final 4 drives the Jets had:

  • 6 plays, 75 yards, 3:02 minutes, TD
  • 11 plays, 66 yards, 5:03 minutes, 3/3 on 3rd downs, TD
  • 13 plays. 80 yards, 4:26 minutes, 4/4 on 3rd downs, TD
  • 13 plays, 83 yards, 2:15 minutes, interception in the redzone

Now I know the game was basically over at that point, but keep in mind the starters were still playing. Another argument to be made is that the defense was probably gassed after a short week, and given how the game was out of reach they just half-assed it to the end, but if that was the case, why not let the starters rest and play most of your backups, giving them a chance to make a play and show they belong in the rotation?

Best Position Group: Running backs

25 carries for 246 yards and 3 touchdowns while adding 6 receptions for 62 yards. Taylor was already playing at an elite level, but it was certainly encouraging watching Nyheim Hines break out of his slump and start playing like the player the Colts paid $6M a year. With the receiving group ravaged by injuries, the Colts will need to rely a lot more on their backfield to make things work on offense.

Unsung Hero: Taylor Stallworth

The defensive line lost one of their best players in Tyquan Lewis last game, and in his absence, veteran Taylor Stallworth stepped up to fill the gap. Stallworth got 2 sacks, a hit, and a hurry, while also batting the pass that resulted in the game-sealing interception. Being realistic, Stallworth will probably never produce numbers like this in the season again, but if he can just be a solid rotational pass rusher then the Colts will be very happy.

Rookie of the Week: Kwity Paye

Well, Kwity Paye finally had himself a breakout game, racking up 7 hurries and 2 hits. While Paye is going through the typical inconsistencies of a rookie edge rusher, the potential is certainly there and it is really encouraging watching a young pass rusher finally produce.