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Vote on Colts 2023 season awards

Complete the Stampede Blue survey to vote on the Colts 2023 Season Awards, including best play and performance. 

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Philadelphia Eagles, Super Bowl LVII
Walter Payton Man of the Year finalists look on during the presentation at State Farm Stadium. Glendale, AZ — February 12, 2023
John W. McDonough/Sports Illustrated via Getty Images

There are just 48 hours before the 13th annual NFL Honors commence at the Resorts World Theatre in Las Vegas. The special ceremony recognizes the league’s best players, coaches, plays and efforts during the 2023-2024 NFL season.

Since just one Colts representative was nominated for an individual award, complete the Stampede Blue survey to vote on the Colts 2023 Season Awards, including best play and performance.

MVP | Offensive Player of the Year: Michael Pittman Jr.

Colts receiver Michael Pittman Jr. had his breakout campaign producing a single-season career-high 109 receptions (fifth in NFL) and 1,152 receiving yards, while scoring four touchdowns. Dallas Clark, Marvin Harrison Sr. and Reggie Wayne are the only other three players in franchise history with 100 receptions and 1,000 receiving yards in a season.


Colts Most Valuable Player

This poll is closed

  • 22%
    DeForest Buckner
    (50 votes)
  • 17%
    Gardner Minshew
    (40 votes)
  • 40%
    Michael Pittman Jr.
    (90 votes)
  • 2%
    Quenton Nelson
    (5 votes)
  • 17%
    Zaire Franklin
    (38 votes)
223 votes total Vote Now

Defensive Player of the Year: Zaire Franklin

Linebacker Zaire Franklin broke his own single-season franchise record with 179 tackles, which ranked second in the league. Franklin added three tackles for loss and two forced fumbles. His three best performances tied Rams linebacker Bobby Wagner for the most games with at least 15 tackles in the league. Franklin was nominated as the Walter Payton Man of the Year.


Colts Defensive Player of the Year

This poll is closed

  • 36%
    DeForest Buckner
    (79 votes)
  • 4%
    Kenny Moore II
    (9 votes)
  • 0%
    Julian Blackmon
    (0 votes)
  • 59%
    Zaire Franklin
    (130 votes)
218 votes total Vote Now

Rookie of the Year: Josh Downs

Receiver Josh Downs finished his rookie campaign with 68 receptions for 771 receiving yards, which set a new franchise record for the most catches by a Colts rookie. He reached the end zone twice and flashed Indianapolis’ third-round draft pick ranked seventh in receptions and receiving yards among rookies.


Colts Rookie of the Year

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    Jaylon Jones
    (5 votes)
  • 93%
    Josh Downs
    (200 votes)
  • 4%
    Juju Brents
    (9 votes)
214 votes total Vote Now

Comeback Player of the Year: Gardner Minshew

Gardner Minshew was thrust into a starting quarterback role following Anthony Richardson’s season-ending shoulder injury. Minshew mania 2.0 earned his first Pro-Bowl nod and put Indianapolis on the brink of the playoffs as he threw for a career-high 3,305 passing yards. The fifth-year veteran threw 15 touchdowns against nine interceptions and delivered two fourth-quarter comebacks and two game-winning drives.


Comeback Player of the Year

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    Drew Ogletree
    (3 votes)
  • 56%
    Gardner Minshew
    (120 votes)
  • 5%
    Kwity Paye
    (11 votes)
  • 36%
    Jonathan Taylor
    (78 votes)
212 votes total Vote Now

Play of the Year:

Buckner TD vs Jags: Trailing 17-14 late in the third quarter during the season opener, DeForest Buckner used a swim move to rush through and deliver a blindside blow to Jaguars’ quarterback Trevor Lawrence, which popped the ball loose. It took the players a moment to recognize that none of the referee’s blew their whistle, so Zaire Franklin punched the ball away from statued rookie running back Tank Bigsby, allowing Buckner to scooped up the second fumble and returned it to the house, finishing with a risky dive into the pylon to give the Colts the lead.

Pittman OT catch vs Ravens: On the road tied at 19 in overtime, Pittman lined up tight to the formation and went deep on a seam route. Minshew launched a jump ball near midfield and Pittman hauled in a 34-yard reception over two defenders despite his helmet getting knocked off.

Pittman 75-yard TD vs Browns: Trailing 33-31 with under six minutes left in the fourth quarter, Pittman’s season-long catch-and-run. After Minshew faked the handoff and hit Pittman across the middle, Pittman freed himself from Greg Newsome II and bounced off Martin Emerson Jr. on the midfield horseshoe, then dashed off to the races for a 75-yard touchdown to give the Colts the lead.

Moss 56-yard run vs Titans: Facing third-and-1 in the final minute of the first quarter, a pair of pro-bowlers in center Ryan Kelly and guard Quenton Nelson cleared a runway for Zack Moss to burst through untouched for a 56-yard touchdown to give the Colts the lead. His season-long run in the Colts Week 5 win was the 12th longest run of the season from any ball carrier.

Taylor 49-yard run vs Texans: In the season finale, the Colts needed just four plays on their first drive of the second half to retaliate and tie the elimination game at 14. Jonathan Taylor cut inside to evade defensive tackle Kurt Hunish in the backfield, then juked away from Texans linebacker Blake Cashman at the line of scrimmage before racing to score a 49-yard touchdown, his longest run of the season.


Colts Play of the Year

This poll is closed

  • 32%
    DeForest Buckner TD vs Jaguars
    (54 votes)
  • 25%
    Michael Pittman Jr. OT catch vs Ravens
    (41 votes)
  • 17%
    Michael Pittman Jr. 75-yard TD vs Browns
    (28 votes)
  • 9%
    Zack Moss 56-yard TD vs Titans
    (15 votes)
  • 12%
    Jonathan Taylor 49-yard TD vs Texans
    (21 votes)
  • 3%
    Other (Leave Play Description in Comments)
    (5 votes)
164 votes total Vote Now

Performance of the Year:

Matt Gay earned AFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors after converting 5-for-5 field goals in the Colts Week 3 overtime road win against the Baltimore Ravens. He became the first kicker in NFL history to make four field goals of 50-plus yards in a single game, including the game-winner in OT. Gay became the fifth kicker in NFL history to deliver a game-tying FG of 50-plus yards in the final two minutes of regulation, then strike a game-winning 50-plus yard FG in OT.

Moss scored two touchdowns and ran for a career-high 165 rushing yards on 23 carries in the Colts Week 5 road win against the Tennessee Titans. He averaged 7.2 yards per carry, which is a career-best. Moss only trailed Jets’ running back Breece Hall (177) for the most rushing yards during Week 5.

Kenny Moore II scored a pair of pick-sixes to lift the Colts to a 27-13 road win over the Carolina Panthers. He added eight tackles and became the first player in franchise history to return two interceptions for touchdowns in a single game. Indianapolis’ nickel produced 115 all-purpose yards, which is the most interception return yards in a single game by a Colts player since at least 1960. Moore earned his second AFC Defensive Player of the Week honor with his Week 9 masterclass.

Pittman scored the walk-off touchdown from four-yards out in overtime to earn the season sweep over the Tennessee Titans in Week 13. He led the Colts with a career-high 11 catches and 105 receiving yards, joining Marvin Harrison Sr. as the only two players in franchise history to produce 10 catches and 100 receiving yards in consecutive games.

Taylor saved his best performance for the season finale, rushing for a season-high 188 rushing yards on 30 carries. He scored a season-long 49-yard touchdown to tie the game on the Colts first drive of the second half. His seventh performance of 150-plus yards tied Eric Dickerson for the most such games in franchise history.


Colts Performance of the Year

This poll is closed

  • 29%
    Matt Gay - five FGs to beat Ravens
    (46 votes)
  • 10%
    Zack Moss - two TDs and 165 rushing yards against Titans
    (17 votes)
  • 38%
    Kenny Moore - two pick-sixes against Panthers
    (60 votes)
  • 8%
    Michael Pittman Jr. - walk-off TD in OT against Titans
    (13 votes)
  • 13%
    Jonathan Taylor - season-long 49-yard TD, 188 rushing yards against Texans
    (21 votes)
157 votes total Vote Now