Colts Studs and Duds: Week 15

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Dec 16, 2018; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Marlon Mack (25) runs upfield in the second half against Dallas Cowboys line backer Damien Wilson (57) at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

The Colts are highly favored as a playoff team as we round out the 2018 season. After absolutely destroying the Dallas Cowboys led by wanna-be DRoY Leighton Vander Esch. With a final score of 23-0 the Colts are now tied for the 6th AFC wild-card spot and with a Pittsburgh Steelers loss in the wild card spot with a 8-6 record. With complete and utter domination on both sides of the ball, I’ll be taking a different look at the duds of the week.

The Colts don’t necessarily need help from other teams in the NFL to claim the 6th wild-card spot, but it would always be appreciated. Games to watch that could have helped the Colts were the Ravens vs Buccaneers, Texans vs Jets, and Titans vs Giants in which none went the Colts way. Division rivals Texans and Titans beat the Jets (29-22) and the Giants (17-0) respectfully while the Ravens pulled out the win against the Buccaneers with a 20-12 final score.

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Most disappointingly, the Ravens did not walk away with a loss which would have immediately confirmed the 6th wild card spot for the Colts. Now, the Colts wait anxiously in hopes of a Patriots win in Pittsburgh which would also give the Colts the playoff spot and the ability to control their own destiny.

Second-year player Marlon Mack had a huge day against a respectable Cowboy front 7. Mack dismantled the Cowboys defense though with a total of 139 yards and two touchdowns in 27 attempts. Mack had incredible vision splitting multiple holes and making beautiful cuts to expose the Cowboys’ defensive front and Leighton Vander Esch.

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Cornerback Pierre Desir has been quietly a huge piece in this teams success. When matching up against top receivers like Deandre Hopkins and Amari Cooper, they were only allowed a combined 68 yards. This week, Desir had a forced fumble, a pass deflection, and seven tackles making him one of the current most underrated corners in the league right now.

Finally, we talk about the real Defensive Rookie of the Year, linebacker Darius Leonard. Leonard shut all the “LVE defensive rookie of the year” fans up as he had a huge day against the lackluster LVE-led defense. Leonard added to his NFL leading number of tackles as he had 11 on the day along with one for a loss. Leonard has also been absolutely outstanding in pass coverage breaking up two passes and just being a ‘maniac’ on the field for any quarterback he faces.

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The three of these players were huge key components in this amazing shutout win against the ‘Wolf Pack” of Cowboys players who didn’t prove much except that Indianapolis is the perfect future home for edge rusher Demarcus Lawrence and the fact that Leighton Vander Esch is not only overhyped, but completely overrated.

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