MVP of the Game: Julian Blackmon
Dud of the Game (The Grigsy): Shawn Smith / Darrell Baker Jr.
The final two plays of the Browns’ game-winning drive involved the referees (represented by head official Shawn Smith on this one) and Colts’ backup cornerback Darrell Baker Jr., who entered the game in place of the injured Juju Brents. The first call was an illegal contact flag on a play where the Colts had forced a fumble on P.J. Walker and recovered it, essentially ending the game, but the Colts somehow flagged Baker on a play where if anything it had to be an OPI on Cooper, and also missed a facemask on Kwity Paye. Not content with ruining that call, Smith and his gang doubled down and called an invisible DPI on Baker the next play on what was clearly an uncatchable ball. Hopefully this guy gets demoted/fired in the near future because what I saw from him on Sunday is inexcusable.
Best Unit: Interior offensive line
Nelson-Kelly-Fries have given the Colts exactly what they needed from them all season long, with Nelson returning back to his All-Pro caliber form and Kelly having himself a nice bounceback season. The interior of the offensive line has been great all season long and Sunday was no exception, as they allowed just two combined pressures from the inside and all had above-average PFF grades in run blocking.
Play of the Game: MPJ’s 75-yard touchdown
What a play by the Colts’ #1 receiver and at the perfect time also, to put the Colts up by five late in the fourth quarter MPJ turned a 20-yard catch into a long touchdown and got his second touchdown of the year. This could have been the game-winning touchdown had the refs not decided to give this one to the Browns.
Rookie of the Week: Josh Downs
This award will most likely take turns between Downs and Brents for the rest of the year. This time the wide receiver takes it home, as he got his second consecutive touchdown catch on a 59-yard touchdown andled the team with five receptions for 125 yards. The chemistry with Minshew is undeniable and he should continue getting a healthy share of targets for the remainder of the year.
Unsung Hero: Will Fries
Fries has been an amazing presence this season so far for the Indianapolis Colts’ offensive line. Remember last year when it was Matt Pryor, and then Braden Smith who slid back to right guard because the Colts were getting killed on the inside? Where they are finally over. Fries was once again solid in the run game and allowed just one pressure.