The Indianapolis Colts went into Sunday’s game on the back of an embarrassing showing in Week 2 having been shout out by the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Colts came up against a AFC powerhouse in the Kansas City Chiefs who were sitting at 2-0 and undefeated on the season. There were some strong showings during the 20-17 win, and a few poor ones, as well.
Alec Pierce had the biggest game of his short rookie career so far. Pierce missed last weeks game with a concussion but returned to action in a huge way. He lined up as the team’s WR2 and balled out grabbing 3 catches for 61 yards, one of which was a 30 yarder when the offense was backed up against it’s own 1 yard line. If Pierce can build on Sunday’s performance we could be looking at a lethal wide receiver combination of him and WR1 Pittman Jr
Rodney McLeod started at strong safety over rookie Nick Cross and played lights out on defense for the Colts on Sunday. McLeod was part of a defensive unit that limited Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs offense to 17 points in the game and just 3 points in the second half. He also managed to snag the game sealing interception off a Stephon Gilmore pass deflection. McLeod was an excellent off-season acquisition by Chris Ballard and could be earning himself a longer stay in Indianapolis if he continues playing the way he did Sunday.
Jelani Woods has been relatively quiet as most tight ends usually are in their rookie years. However, Woods showed out on Sunday in a big way. He played just 16 snaps but managed to catch two passes for 13 yards and two touchdowns. Woods two touchdowns were the difference on Sunday clinching a win for the Colts. There needs to be realistic expectations for rookie tight ends entering the NFL but if Woods continues to make the most of his playing time then he could become a big part of the Colts offense down the line.
The Colts Offensive line continues to struggle and looks nothing like the elite unit it has been in the recent past. The unit allowed the Chiefs defense to sack quarterback Matt Ryan 5 times on Sunday and continues to allow free rushers and miss blitz pickups on regular ocassions. Right guard Danny Pinter looks extremely poor and is constantly overpower and mismatched against opposing defensive tackles. Left tackle Matt Pryor continued his poor start to the season and with rookie Bernhard Raimann out with an ankle injury there was no one to spell him with. The Colts need to fix the offensive line issue up and quickly or it will be a long season and potentially an injury riddled one for Ryan.
Nick Cross won the starting strong safety job in training camp and never looked back playing 116 snaps in the first two weeks. However, on Sunday Cross saw just one snap on defense the entire game. It looks like a clear demotion for the rookie safety with Rodney McLeod having taken over at the strong safety spot. The Colts have said they love Nick Cross and looks to be the clear long term solution for the position but he was demoted on Sunday for the veteran McLeod.