Any doubts about giving the highest contract in free-agent history for a kicker were dissipated entirely on Sunday after an historic performance from Matt Gay. Free agent signing Samson Ebukam also had himself an impressive game, sacking Lamar Jackson, being the Colts’ player with the most pressures, and also a dominant force in the running game. Zaire Franklin, Bernhard Raimann, E.J. Speed, Zack Moss, all Ballard guys, played a great game of football.
32 touches, 145 yards, and the only Colt touchdown of the game, talk about an encore for Zack Moss. With Jonathan Taylor still a week away minimum from his return, Moss will have another game as the unquestionable Colts’ lead back, and who knows what the future holds for the position.
Michael Pittman Jr.
Once again 10+ targets for MPJ, who is getting the ball thrown his way a ton, and he is certainly catching them, with his 25 receptions ranking 4th in the NFL. There was a particularly impressive catch on 3rd down that went for 34 yards, which could very well end up being the Colts’ catch of the season.
Impressive debut from second rounder Julius Brents, who forced a fumble, recovered it himself, had a pass breakup on Mark Andrews, and overall just looked like he belonged. Brents physicality is a major plus for this Colts’ defense that relies so much on soft zone coverages.
Speaking of belonging, Shane Steichen definitely looks the part of an NFL head coach so far, and a darn good one at that. Steichen had a couple nuggets here and there, but overall this Colts’ team just looks better, more polished, and keep in mind they are without their starting quarterback and All-Pro running back. Not many people, including me, expected the Colts to be 2-1 at this point, and it could get dangerous with an easy schedule and a healthy JT.
While Gardner Minshew is no doubt among the best backup quarterbacks in the NFL, the Ravens’ game showed why he is best served at that. It’s not that Minshew is bad, it is just that his ceiling is so low that everything around him needs to be perfect for the offense to be succesful. He is not particularly a “loser”, but Anthony Richardson is the starter on this offense no doubt about it.
While Pierce was more involved, being targeted 7 times and catching three of those, he missed perhaps the perfect chance to blow right back into the mix, dropping a pass that hit him right in the hands, that would have put the Colts on 1st & Goal with under a minute remaining. It has not been a pleasant start of the season so far for Pierce, and Downs is now eating into his target share. With Jelani Woods and Jonathan Taylor’s returns approaching, there are only so many touches to go around in this offense.
Darrell Baker Jr.
Any time you are a healthy scratch and the backup comes in and has one helluva game you are going to be a loser. With how well Brents played, the likelihood of Baker seeing the field the next couple of weeks is not particularly high.