Colts Studs and Duds: Week 17

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Dec 30, 2018; Nashville, TN, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Marlon Mack (25) rushes against Tennessee Titans cornerback Malcolm Butler (21) during the second half at Nissan Stadium. Indianapolis won 33-17. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Week 17 was an all or nothing, win or go home week for Colts and Titans on Sunday Night Football. The Colts were not going to get beat by the Titans in any point during that game, the only team that was going to beat the Colts were the Colts that was only possible because bad decisions and penalties. Luckily in the fourth quarter the Colts had two interceptions to ice the game 33-17 clinching the sixth wild card playoff spot.

Duds

Chester Rogers is the Colts’ punt returner who was back to return a total of six punts against the Titans, and yet still didn’t get a single yard while returning pinning the Colts within their own 10-yard line twice. When in the playoffs, special teams is a huge part of the games multiple times because it flips the field on their opponents also giving the teams defense a better chance at holding the opposing team from scoring any points. Chester has had a rough time this entire season when returning punts hardly breaking any big yard returns and when he did there would be a block in the back or holding penalties to bring the returns back.

Recently signed safety J.J. Wilcox has been lack-luster for being a veteran safety. Since signing with Indy in week 16 Wilcox has recorded a measly 4 tackles for the team and blew multiple coverages vs the Giants and the Titans.

The last dud of the regular season has to be the Colts’ pass rush who have recently not been applying pressure like they should have. Against the Titans above average offensive line, the Colts had zero sacks and only one tackle for loss. Once again going into the playoffs, no pass rush is not acceptable especially when facing elite quarterbacks like Deshaun Watson, Patrick Mahomes, Philip Rivers, and Tom Brady who either don’t have good offensive lines or are known to escape sacks.

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Studs

Another week, another great performance by star wide receiver T.Y. Hilton who has practiced a total of four times in the month of December. Hilton during his time of injury has actually been the best receiver in the NFL going by stats, and helping the Colts with their successful playoff push. Against the Titans T.Y. was able to torch for only 2 receptions yet still got himself 61 yards.

Marlon Mack had yet another 100-yard day where he ran for 119 yards in his 25 attempts and single touch down. Yes, Mack did have a fumble but he made up for it when he iced the game late in the fourth as he scored his touch down after a Kenny Moore interception. Mack has had four games where he ran for over 100 yards, in each of those games against the Bills, Raiders, Cowboys and the Titans in their second meeting, the Colts have won showing the value of Mack as a rusher for this team moving into the post season.

Pro bowl snub and DRoY Darius Leonard ended a spectacular regular season with another amazing game. He wrapped up the season with 8 total tackles, postseason more pass deflections, and an interception to allow captain Andrew Luck to end the game in victory formation. Leonard is by far the most impactful player on this quick and young Colts defense and I fully expect him to lead this team through the playoffs and possibly to the Super Bowl. 

‘Studs and Duds’ of the regular season will be coming later this week so stay tuned to see my picks for the Colts best and Worst players of the season!

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