MVP of the Game: E.J. Speed
Speed was basically the only Colts’ player that showed heart and effort in the game, racking up the tackles and just basically showing the type of attitude that such a crucial game in the season certainly deserves. He finished the game with 13 total tackles, one for loss, and two pass deflections.
Dud of the Game: Everyone else
Duval 2021 flashbacks anyone? This just felt like a copycat of that game, and it is no coincidence that several of those players are the ones still playing on the roster. Keep in mind the Falcons lost 7-9 against the Carolina Panthers. Sure they had a new quarterback in Taylor Heinicke but the Colts just had to be better prepared and looking much better than what they showed yesterday. With Jacksonville’s precedent so close in the rearview mirror, I just don’t know how much I can trust this team.
Dishonourable mention to Blake Freeland, who had a performance similar to that of Pryor and Davenport in the past. I cut him some sort of slack because he is a rookie, but Freeland has been really bad the last couple of weeks and opposing defenses are starting to prey on him.
Play of the Game: First offensive drive
13-plays, 75 yards, ending on a touchdown by Jonathan Taylor and a 7-0 lead. The drive even included a 3rd and 11 conversion to Will Mallory and a deep shot to Alec Pierce that resulted in a DPI call. There were not many good things after that.
Whammy of the Game: Everything else
Right after that, the Colts were outscored 3-29, as the offense could not get anything going mainly because of the offensive line getting completely mandhandled by the Falcons’ front, and the defense got surgically picked apart by Taylor Heinicke. The offense was missing MPJ and Braden Smith this week, so I cut them just a little bit more slack, but that performance by a healthy defense was just inexcusable. Oh and before I forget there was another special teams’ whammy this week with a defensive offsides call negating what was a missed field goal.
Unsung Hero: The final whistle
The one good thing about that game is that it ended, and the unsung heroes of the week are the Cleveland Browns, who beat the Texans, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who blew out the Jaguars, meaning that the AFC South and final wild card spot is still up for grabs.
Rookie of the Week: Josh Downs
Downs had 6 receptions for just under 40 yards, not a great day by any means, but he was productive. The wide receiver is closing up a really great rookie season, nearing the 70-700 mark.