MVP of the Game: Jonathan Taylor/Nyheim Hines
The duo were the only bright spots on a day without many. Taylor was excellent in short-yardage situations, converting on two different 4th and short situations, and he also got his first explosive run of the season, a 23-yard carry. Hines was most explosive in the passing game, where he caught 5 passes for 54 yards, with one being an electric 36-yard catch that included a ballerina type balance to stay on his feet, but he also had a 9-yard touchdown in the redzone. Overall the duo combined for 22 touches (6.8 yards per touch) for 151 yards and a touchdown.
Dud of the Game (The Grigsy): Carson Wentz
While I admire his toughness for playing on two sprained ankles, he clearly was not supposed to start at all yesterday. Wentz looked really uncomfortable in a pocket that was not capable of giving him enough time to throw, and he made several rash decisions because of it. Of course, hindsight is 20-20, but risking your supposed franchise quarterback, and playing a key division game with a quarterback on two bum ankles, is clearly not the right call. Mike Vrabel knew it, and he knew that whenever Wentz faced pressure, he would fold, so he constantly blitzed him. As a result, Carson finished the game 19/37 for 194 yards, which is 5.24 YPA, and that number is a little bloated because of the aforementioned Hines catch and run.
Best Play of the Game: Rock’s forced fumble
After a dumb roughing the punter penalty by Zaire Franklin erased a 3 and out created by the Colts defense, the Titans started marching down the field with ease. Down in the redzone, Rock Ya-Sin managed to rip the ball out of Westbrook-Ikhine’s hands and then recovered the ball.
Worst Play of the Game: Wentz near miss to MPJ in the end-zone
This is the worst play of the game because of what it meant for the Colts. Having a 1st and goal on the Titans’ 9-yard line, down 10-14, Wentz found an open MPJ in the endzone but missed the throw by just a few inches and Pittman could not get a proper grip on the ball. After two more incompletions, the Colts had to settle for a field goal.
Best Position Group: Running Backs
With Mack and Hines winning the MVP of the game, this award is not a surprise by any means. The running backs were clearly the Colts’ best players on Sunday, and it puzzles me why Reich did not use them more in the second half and relied more on the passing game.
Unsung Hero: Rock Ya-Sin/Al-Quadin Muhammad/Julian Blackmon
Before leaving with an ankle injury, Ya-Sin was continuing his hot start to the season. After a rocky start to his career, Ya-Sin has quietly started to perform as the cornerback he was drafted to be. I am one of the main critics of AQM, but I have to recognize that yesterday he played a really good game. He got his hands on Henry quite a bit and was constantly making an impact. Julian Blackmon finished the game as the Colts’ leading tackler, and I was actually surprised by how he managed to bring down Henry on several open-field tackles.
Rookie of the Week: Vacant
Mike Strachan was a healthy scratch, while Kwity Paye left the game early with a hamstring injury and did not return, so no ROTW award this week.