The Indianapolis Colts went into Sunday’s game on the back of a loss in Week 8 having lost to a NFC team who had made a recent change at quarterback in the Washington Commanders. The Colts came up against an AFC rival the New England Patriots who had also been struggling for offensive consistency and were sitting at 4-4 but were coming off a divisional win. There were some strong showings during the 26-3 loss, and a few poor ones, as well.
DeForest Buckner proved yet again on Sunday why he is one of the best interior defensive lineman in the entire league. Buckner was the clear Colts player of the game and was a disruptive force from the first snap of the game until the very end. Buckner produced 7 tackles, 4 of which were solo tackles, 1 sack, 3 quarterback hits and a tackle for loss. He was far too much for the Patriots to handle all game.
Kwity Paye was another disruptive force for the Colts on the defensive line and made his presence clear all game. Paye was returning to playing after missing several weeks with an ankle injury but did not look to be anything short of a 100% on Sunday. Paye produced 8 tackles, 7 which were solo tackles, 1 sack, 1 quarterback hit and a tackle for a loss. Paye returned to the Colts defensive and played lights out consistently pressuring quarterback Mac Jones all game.
Sensing a theme here? Grover Stewart continued his Pro Bowl season by having yet another excellent game on Sunday. Stewart has been the Colts player of the season and proved on Sunday why he is one of the best nose tackles in the league. Stewart produced 5 tackles, 4 of which were solo tackle and 2 run stops. Stewart wrecked the Patriots rushing attack all game and even added some great pass rushes pressuring Jones.
Sam Ehlinger was starting just his second game of his career on Sunday and his inexperience showed during the game. Ehlinger certainly wasn’t helped by his offensive line but he also didn’t manage complete to complete a pass until halfway through the second quarter and could only manage to complete 15 of 19 passes for just 103 yards. He also threw an interception and finished with a 45.6 passer rating. Ehlinger needs to improve drastically over the next 8 games if he wants to prove to the team he is the future at quarterback for the Colts.
The Colts Offensive line has been a regular on the stock down side this season and Sunday was no different. The offensive line allowed nine sacks and 12 quarterback hits and were the number one reason the offense couldn’t complete a third down all game and only manged 3 points. The unit couldn’t run block well enough in the run game with the rushing attack only being able to average just 2.5 yards per carry. They also consistently lost pass blocking situations as they struggled every time the Patriots ran a stunt and on clear passing downs with pressure on Ehlinger on nearly every down. The offense will continue to have showings like they did on Sunday until the offensive line begins to actually turn up and play. Sunday’s performance from the offensive line is one they should be ashamed of as they were nothing shout of horrendous.