Brandin Cooks Vs. Stephon Gilmore / Kenny Moore II
Cooks finished the game with 7 catches for 82 yards on 12 targets and also drew a key (questionable) DPI on Kenny Moore II. He was mostly lined up in the slot against Kenny, and it is safe to say that Cooks definitely got the best out of the Colts’ cornerback this matchup. Kenny’s play has been down since the end of last season, and it also does not bode well for him that he asked for a pay raise and has not been showing up recently. If the Colts’ defense is to be succesful, it needs Kenny to perform much, much better than this.
Davis Mills Vs. Gus Bradley
Bradley’s defense definitely did not bring their A game against the Texans. Keep in mind this is basically the same offense the Colts held to just 3 combined points last year, and this time they allowed the Texans what looked some very easy drives. I did not see the supposed aggresiveness from this unit, which was desperately missing their leader in Shaquille Leonard. They should get better as the season progresses and they get more accustomed to playing with each other, as we had 5 new starters on the unit.
Laremy Tunsil Vs. Yannick Ngakoue
Ngakoue, the Colts’ newest big addition to the defensive line, had a rough debut in a Colts’ uniform, as he got just 3 total pressures in 33 pass rushing snaps, and was stonewalled by Laremy Tunsil throughout the game. Kwity Paye was able to bring the juice when it was needed the most, but the Colts will need a lot more from Ngakoue to reach that next level on defense.
Braden Smith Vs. Jonathan Greenard / Jerry Hughes
Smith looked really bad on Sunday, as he allowed 4 total pressures and was easily the Colts worst player on the offensive line. Smith is being paid a ton of money, as he is among the most dominant right tackles in the game, but he certainly did not play like it, struggling against both Jerry Hughes and Jonathan Greenard. It is highly unlikely that this level of play continues from him, but it is something worth monitoring.
Michael Pittman Jr. Vs. Derek Stingley Jr.
MPJ is a superstar at wide receiver and he started off the 2022 season being clearly the only reliable wide receiver the Colts have on their roster. He finished the game with 9 catches for 121 yards and a touchdown, and he just looked on a different level than any other player on the offense not named Jonathan Taylor.
Parris Campbell Vs. Desmond King II
Parris Campbell was a big disappointment on Sunday, but perhaps I expected way too much from a guy that is just returning from yet another long term injury. The fact that he managed to be on the field for over 80% of the snaps is encouraging, and he should definitely get better as the season progresses. He finished the game with 3 catches on 4 targets for 37 yards.