MVP of the Game: Gardner Minshew / Dayo Odeyingbo
Let me start off by recognizing I have been very critical of how Minshew had been playing recently, and I also have to admit I entertained the idea in my mind of possibly giving the starting job to Sam Ehlinger. Minshewmania came in full force to shut me up, as he put up his best game in a Colts’ uniform, throwing three touchdowns (could have been five, two drops one by Montgomery and the other one to MAC) and overall just looking much better in every single aspect of the quarterback position. With how tight the AFC Wild Card race is getting the Colts need a steady hand at the wheel.
Dayo Odeyingbo has come into his own as a player this season, and had perhaps his best game against the Steelers, racking up two sacks and the highest pass-rush win rate of his season. The way Kwity Paye’s progress as a pass-rusher has gone also clears the way for Dayo’s role in the team.
Dud of the Game: Matt Gay / Jaylon Jones
Matt Gay missed two field goals again, though one came on a weird hold by Rigoberto and was over 55 yards. The other was a missed 41-yarder that would have sealed the deal for the Colts in the middle of the fourth quarter. The Colts paid Gay way too much money for this sort of thing to be happening.
Jaylon Jones has been going through some struggles as of late, which is to be expected from a rookie cornerback, it was eye-catching how he got over 95% of the snaps and Darrell Baker Jr., who had been playing well, just two.
Play of the Game: Julian Blackmon’s interception to seal the game
The Colts were up fourteen near the middle of the fourth quarter and the Steelers were putting together a solid drive, including a 4th and 10 conversion to Diontae Johnson. Then came Julian Blackmon to pounce on an overthrown ball by Mitch Trubisky and put the final nail on the Steelers coffin, send them home mad, and probably out of the playoffs.
Worst Play of the Game: Special teams’ play
There were not many bad plays this game for the Colts, I mean I could say the entire first quarter was terrible all around including the blocked punt, but in the end the special teams’ unit takes home this section in its entirety. Two missed field goals, a blocked punt, and the Steelers averaged 32.5 yards on kickoff returns, one in particular was terrible with the Colts kicking from the 50 after a flag on Zack Moss’ touchdown, and the Steelers returned the kick to the 36-yard line.
Unsung Hero: Tyquan Lewis
Tyquan Lewis very well could be the Colts’ unsung hero for the entire season, as he overcame two season ending injuries the past couple of seasons, and put together his most consistent and impressive season as a Colt.
Rookie of the Week: Josh Downs
Again this is not because of merit but because there was no one else to warrant taking this award. Jones and Brents did not have a good game, so in the end it goes to the rookie receiver who had just 3 receptions for 19 yards.