Trey Sermon / Tyler Goodson
The Colts’ depth running backs came in and carried the load on Sunday, with both Trey Sermon and Tyler Goodson having career days. Sermon was the lead back with 17 carries for 88 yards, while Goodson had 11 for 69 including a 31-yard run behind Big Q. With JT still out for the near future and Zack Moss’ status in doubt for the next game the duo could get extended playing time against the Atlanta Falcons.
Dayo had yet another impressive game in what has been a breakout season for him, this one perhaps his best game yet. He finished the game with 1.5 sacks, a tackle for loss, and two quarterback hits, and his pass-rushing abilities have blossomed this season. The Colts’ defensive line as a whole has been rushing the passer well this season and Dayo is a big reason why.
The rookie cornerback made his return from the quad injury suffered earlier in the season, and played the entire game. The Colts’ coaching staff clearly has a lot of faith on him, and he will most likely be the #1 cornerback for the future.
Nick Cross’ snap share continues to increase, and he got a key interception mossing Steelers’ wide receiver George Pickens. The young safety clearly offers way more playmaking potential than Rodney Thomas II, and his playing time this season could continue to increase.
The Colts’ kicker missed another two kicks this week, one a 56-yarder which is excusable but not ideal, and the other being a 41-yarder that would have ended the game putting the Colts up by 17 with less than half of the fourth quarter remaining. Steichen fully backed Gay, as he had also struggled against the Bengals. With three key games remaining Gay must solve this struggles as soon as possible.
Darrell Baker Jr.
Darrell Baker had improved over the course of the season, and with the Colts starting two rookie cornerbacks I thought he was going to get at least some rotational playing time. He comes out a loser because even although Jaylon Jones had some struggles during the game Baker did not see the field at all.
Kwity Paye did not have a bad game by any means, it is just that he has not lived up to the 1st rounder the Colts used to get him. He has not developed into the pass-rusher the Colts probably envisioned him to become, but he is a solid run defender so it is not all bad. He also makes a ton of effort on every single play. Thing is, with how Ebukam, Dayo, and even Tyquan Lewis have played, his snap share could begin to decrease.
Rodney Thomas II
Nick Cross has been eating into Rodney Thomas’ snap share consistently, and he had a key interception early in the game. Gus Bradley’s defensive scheme works perfectly with safeties that can create takeaways, and that is not particularly Rodney Thomas’ biggest asset. If Cross continues performing, then Thomas could see the bench sooner or later.