The go-route merchant, most of the time with Minshew in at quarterback Alec Pierce spends most of his Sunday afternoons doing some heavy cardio. Against the Raiders he was actually thrown a deep ball and he made the most of it, going 58-yards for the touchdown, after being wide open earlier in the game but missed by Minshew. Pierce struggles getting open in the short and intermediate game, as his strength is clearly the deep ball and contested catches, which is why he is probably looking forward to having Richardson back as quarterback and showing all he is able to do.
Vintage Jonathan Taylor performance who looks the same as ever, only he is just not getting the looks he used to get before. This is still clearly the same guy, and you can just see the explosiveness and elusiveness are still there and gone nowhere. JT had over a hundred total yards and scored a touchdown for the fifth consecutive game, a great day in the office for him.
Lewis continues impressing, this time adding yet another sack to his cause, and established himself as the perfect rotational defensive linemen for the Colts. He is adept against the run, but what makes him so valuable for the unit is his ability to get home and pressure the quarterback when rushing just four guys. His snap share this season has also remained consistent in the 40%-50% range.
Fries has been perhaps the Colts’ most pleasant surprise this entire season, as he solved the issues the team desperately struggled with at right guard last year. Fries had one of his best games of the season against a very tough Raiders’ front, and he is a potential candidate for a contract extension this offseason.
The Colts’ top two running backs are clearly Jonathan Taylor and then Zack Moss, but behind them veteran Trey Sermon has proved to be a more than serviceable guy should either of the duo above miss a game. Steichen clearly does not really like the bell-cow approach at running back, as Sermon played over 30% of the snaps yesterday finishing the game with seven touches for over 40 yards.
Speed did not have a good game on Sunday, and not only because of the penalty on the punt that gifted the Raiders a fresh set of downs in Colts’ territory, which was a disaster itself, but also because he seemed a step too slow, and missed plays he was not missing earlier this season. Now without Shaq Leonard, I believe that linebacker is an underrated need for the Colts this offseason.
The big tight end is a solid guy to have around, and his blocking makes him a valuable piece on a Colts’ team that is favouring the run more and more each week. The thing with MAC is that his drop issues over the past couple of weeks, and his overall lack of production, means his status as a Colt next season is very well in doubt considering Jelani Woods should be ready to go by next year.
Thomas was not the starter even taking into account Julian Blackmon’s season ending injury, as it was Nick Cross and Ronnie Harrison in the backfield on Sunday. He started the season as the unquestionable starter, but the lack of splash plays and poor tackling/angles in the running game were just too glaring to ignore.