The Indianapolis Colts went into Sunday’s game on the back of a poor loss in Week 4 having lost to an AFC South rival in the Tennessee Titans. The Colts came up against an AFC team who were also struggling to be consistent in the Denver Broncos, who were sitting at 2-2 and coming off a close loss against the Las Vegas Raiders. There were some strong showings during the 12-9 win, and a few poor ones, as well.
Stephon Gilmore had the best game of his short Colts career. Gilmore was exceptional all game locking down several Broncos receivers and managed to snag the game sealing interception of Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson. Gilmore produced 5 tackles, 2 pass deflections and a game winning interception, he has been a lock-down corner all year and proved his worth in a prime time game last Thursday.
DeForest Buckner has had a relatively quiet year in terms of his All Pro and Pro Bowl career. Buckner has been dealing with several injuries all year and was far from fully healthy against the Broncos but still made a massive impact. He produced 8 tackles, 1 tackle for a loss, 2 quarterback hits, 2 sacks, a pass deflection and a forced fumble. Buckner certainly had an All Pro game and impact on Thursday.
Alec Pierce has been developing and improving week after week and had another big game in his young rookie career for the Colts. His targets, receptions and yards have been increasing each week and he has been producing more each week too. Pierce had another big game on Thursday catching 8 passes for 81 yards and his highest snap count of the year. Pierce looks like a huge piece on offense for the Colts and should lock up the WR2 spot sooner rather than later.
Matt Pryor has been playing particularly poor all year at left tackle so the Colts decided to shake up the offensive line and play Bernhard Raimann at left tackle and Pryor at right tackle. To say it went badly for Pryor is an understatement, Pryor was beaten by the Broncos defensive line all game long. Pryor ended up allowing 9 total pressures, 5 hurries, 1 hit and 3 sacks. PFF graded him with a 15.1 pass blocking grade. Pryor will be lucky to remain in the starting 5 offensive lineman moving forward.
Matt Ryan has not had a very good first five games to start his career for the Colts. A big portion of the blame can be put on the offensive line which has not helped Ryan out at all. However, a lot of the pressure and turnovers that Ryan has dealt which have to be put on Ryan’s shoulders. His ball security has been awful this year and he added two more fumbles to his year total of 11 and also threw another two interceptions taking his total to 7 on the year. Ryan had a terrible game on Thursday and yes his offensive line didn't help him out but he needs to start looking after the ball more.