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Colts’ winners & losers: Week 12 vs. Bucs

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Winners

Josh Downs

Downs’ target share is insane considering he is a rookie third round pick playing with a backup quarterback, but his skillset fits perfectly to what Gardner Minshew likes as a quarterback, and his 73 targets rank 5th this year among rookies behind players like Puka Nacua who was the focal point of the Rams’ passing game and Jordan Addison who has been the undisputed #1 receiver of the Vikings’ offense in Justin Jefferson’s abscence.

Tyquan Lewis

After missing two consecutive seasons and dealing with injuries his entire career, Tyquan Lewis has played in every single game this year, and has a healthy 40% snap share in a stacked defensive line. His versatility and pass-rushing capabilities make him a valuable asset, and hopefully he gets an extension to remain with this franchise.

Adetomiwa Adebawore

Adebawore was not featured much in the early stages of the season, but he has received 25% of the snaps consistently over the past five games, and he has shown a good amount of flashes. Adebawore was considered a bit raw coming out of college, so my expectations for him were not high this season, but his play and him being out on the field often are good signs of his progression.

Darrell Baker Jr.

Baker Jr. was criticized a lot early this season, and he lost the starting spot first to Dallis Flowers and then to Juju Brents. Because of injuries to both of them, Baker got another chance to start, and this time he took full advantage of it. After an excellent game against the Patriots before the bye-week, Baker was once again solid and should remain the starter as long as Brents is unable to play.

Jonathan Taylor

JT got himself two touchdowns, and was once again the lead back of the offense. It does not help him that with Gardner Minshew in at quarterback opposing defenses are much more focused on him, but he is still putting up decent numbers and reaching the endzone twice is always nice for a running back. Looking at the long term, Taylor is not being used as a workhorse back which is great for his ability to remain on the field.

Losers

Zack Moss

Zack Moss was arguably among the NFL’s best running backs early this season when Jonathan Taylor was either holding out or still getting back to playing form, but since JT’s extension and return he has taken a step back in the offense. He had just 8 carries on Sunday, despite getting almost seven yards per carry on those. Hopefully he remains with the team and forms a formidable running back tandem with Taylor, but perhaps he is looking for a chance to be the #1 back elsewhere.

Kylen Granson

In his three games since coming back from injury, Granson has just one catch on five targets. He was a much bigger part of the offense early on in the year but he got lost between the Colts’ crowded tight end room. There are only so many throws not going either Pittman or Downs’ way, so I would not expect an uptick in receptions for the young tight end.

Rodney Thomas

Thomas is difficult to judge, because the Colts’ scheme requires the safeties to mostly drop back deep and keep everything in front of them. Thomas never stood out for me, as he rarely made any plays and was sometimes on the wrong end of broken tackles, but he was still always getting 100% of the snaps no matter what. Backup safety Nick Cross made a good open field tackle on one of his just two snaps of the day, and Colts’ fans are wondering why Thomas always gets all the game to play no matter what.

Rigoberto Sanchez

Rigo has been inconsistent this season, and yesterday he had a 41-yard punt out of bounds on perhaps the most important time of the game, where the Colts really needed a good kick. Sanchez ranks 19th in net yards per punt this season, and his hangtime is the 7th worst in the NFL, so the Colts might be tempted to look at other options in the offseason.