The Indianapolis Colts went into Sunday’s game on the back of a poor history of Week 1 losses spanning back 8 years. The Colts came up against a strong team this week in the Houston Texans who were starting a second year QB Davis Mills. There were some strong showings during the 20-20 tie, and a few poor ones, as well.
Jonathan Taylor picked up where he left off in 2021. Taylor ran for 161 yards on Sunday and a touchdown. Taylor is the main focus of the Colts offense and showed that on Sunday after the offensive line’s run blocking picked up. Taylor is second in the league in rushing already after just the first week and he will likely be up there all season. Taylor continued his elite level vision, agility and acceleration on Sunday.
Michael Pittman Jr like Taylor picked up exactly where he left off in 2021. Pittman caught 9 passes for 121 yards and a touchdown. Pittman is the clear WR1 and the focal point of the Colts passing attack which he proved on Sunday. Pittman showed a clear rapport with Ryan which is very encouraging which should only get better as the season goes on. Pittman is on a clear path to hitting the 1,000 yard receiving mark again this year.
Kwity Paye had an encouraging rookie year notching 4 sacks. Paye had a good game against the Texans and showed out especially in overtime when he sacked Davis Mills twice. Paye has clearly shown development from last year and has already hit the half way mark of the sacks he managed last year in 1 game. Paye needs to continue his first game play as the Colts need a more consistent pass rush going forward.
Braden Smith had a very poor performance on Sunday which is not what most expect from Smith. Smith is one of the best right tackles in football and is paid rightfully so, earning £17.5 million a year. Smith gave up a penalty, a sack and 4 total pressures on Sunday which is far from his usual performances. Smith needs a big bounce back game this week against the Jaguars but will face tough competition against defensive end Josh Allen.
Matt Pryor had an up and down performance on Sunday in his first start at left tackle in 2022. Pryor ended up being rotated out with rookie Bernhard Raimann at left tackle, PFF rated Pryor with a 60.6 pass block whereas Raimann was rated at 81.5. If Raimann continues to show promise then Pryor could be in danger of losing his starting job to the rookie.
Rodrigo Blankenship had probably the worst outing a kicker could have in week 1. Blankenship kicked two kickoffs out of bounds and missed the game winning field goal which led to the game ending in a tie. Blankenship has ended up losing his job today due to his poor performance on Sunday and it shouldn’t come as a surprise.