Michael Pittman Jr.
Matchup and quarterback proof, MPJ is going to get his targets no matter what. He paces the team with 138 on the season thus far, and is just five catches away from 100, and just 26 yards away from 1.000. It also could not have come at a better for him, as he earnt a big contract extension in the offseason. The blueprint is clear, young quarterbacks are the biggest winners of having a great #1 receiver to throw the ball to, and for Anthony Richardson, that guy has to be MPJ.
Ronnie Harrison Jr.
Pick-six and playing almost 100% of the snaps just a few weeks after being on the practice squad just a couple of weeks ago. Once E.J. Speed returns he will most likely slide back to a backup role, but he had a good game, and perhaps will get some extended playing time in the final weeks of the season.
This was supposed to be a big day for Zack Moss, going up against the worst run defense in the entire NFL, but it was the exact opposite of that, as he had just 13 carries for 28 yards, and had a touchdown nullified because of a questionable holding call on Quenton Nelson. Moss also did not get many designed runs go his way, and I don’t think he even got a single carry not lined up in shotgun formation. A team with such a talented offensive line and a good running back like Moss should be able to run the ball more efficiently, even if the opposing defense is trying to stop it.
Raimann was abused by Trey Hendrickson, and it got really ugly at times. Steichen kept the Austrian left tackle on an island, stubbornly refusing to either help him with a tight end or a running back to disrupt the Bengals’ pass-rusher. In the end, he allowed 5 total pressures and was responsible for two sacks.
Rodney Thomas II
Rodney Thomas has not been great this season, as it seems the missed interception against the Texans in the final game last season was the beginning of some bad play by the 7th round draft pick. Thomas’ ankles were broken in the Bengals’ first touchdown of the game, and he is slowly losing snaps to Nick Cross.
Dayo Odeyingbo / Kwity Paye
The Colts’ supposedly elite pass-rush was kept silent by quick hitting passes, a simple formula to quiet a hot defensive line. Simple truth is that the Colts lack a premier pass-rusher ever since Robert Mathis retired, and the pass-rush by committee approach just does not work consistently well in the present day. Dayo and Kwity are good defensive linemen to have around, but they are nowhere close the elite, or really good, level yet.
With his missed 38-yard field goal, Gay has now missed 5 of his 28 attempts this season for a 23rd ranked 82.1% conversion rate (worth noting 3 of those misses came on field goals over 50 yards). He also missed an extra point for the first time this season. As we repeated several times, Gay signed the biggest contract in free-agent history for a kicker, so the Colts definitely expect more from him.
I don’t think Taven Bryan was supposed to see the field as much as he did this season, but the defensive tackle had a rough game on Sunday. Not only was he a non-factor in the running game as usual, but he also made a critical mistake resulting in a flag on a Bengals’ field goal attempt early in the game that gifted Cincy a new set of downs in the redzone.