The Indianapolis Colts went into Sunday’s game on the back of a close win in Week 5 primetime game having beaten an AFC rival in the Denver Broncos. The Colts came up against an AFC South rival team who were also struggling to be consistent in the Jacksonville Jaguars , who were sitting at 2-3 and coming off a close loss against the Houston Texans. There were some strong showings during the 34-27 win, and a few poor ones, as well.
Alec Pierce had another great showing on Sunday and continued to build on an already impressive rookie campaign. Pierce caught 3 passes for 49 yards which does not look fantastic on paper but it was his touchdown catch which won the game for the Colts. Pierce was lined up one on one with Jaguars cornerback Shaquille Griffin and beaten him cleanly on a go route for the game winning touchdown. Pierce is showing every week just how big of an addition he is to the Colts offense and will continue to be going forward.
Michael Pittman Jr had a record breaking day on Sunday. Pittman finished the game with 13 catches for 134 yards on 16 targets. Pittman was consistently open and made the most of his targets. He broke his own career high in catches and receptions on Sunday showing his toughness and reliability throughout the game. Pittman proved on Sunday he is the Colts number 1 wide receiver and one of the teams best play-makers.
Matt Ryan finally showed off exactly why the Colts traded for him in the off-season. Ryan was excellent on Sunday throwing for 42 of 58 passes (72.4% completion percentage) for 389 yards, 3 touchdowns, 0 interceptions and a 107.6 passer rating. Ryan was not sacked all game and was kept clean by his offensive line consistently for long periods of the game and was able to showcase his strong offensive play, he also set a franchise record for completions in a single game and passed Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino for seventh place on the all-time passing yards list.
Brandon Facyson showed exactly why he should not be starting for the Colts at the outside cornerback position. He was consistently a liability in the run game and was also beaten several times in coverage by the Jaguars wide receivers. The Colts have clearly noticed this and rotated Isaiah Rodgers in for him in the second half of the game. Rodgers is playing far better than Facyson is and it may be time for Rodgers to take over for him on the outside.
The Colts defense as a whole has been a strong unit all season, however on Sunday the run defense was well below their usual stout self. The Colts were poor defending the run for most of the game and were manhandled on several occasions by the Jaguars offensive line leading to them allowing 243 rushing yards and several chunk rushing plays throughout the game. The Colts are known for being stout against the run but were far from their best on Sunday.