IND-ATL Grades: Colts win battle to stay atop AFC South
Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Colts’ 24-21 win over the Falcons.
– A win is a win but Matt Hasselbeck didn’t make anyone forget about Andrew Luck. He struggled when blitzed (earning a -3.0 grade), only completed one pass longer than 10 yards in the air all day and invited pressure by dropping back too deep and holding onto the ball too long. He was on point on short throws, but if the Colts are to continue to reign over the AFC South, he’ll need to do more going forward.
– You wonder if Ahmad Bradshaw might eventually supplant Frank Gore in terms of number of touches. Bradshaw, who scored two touchdowns catching the ball out of the backfield averaged over a yard per contact more than the longtime 49er and perhaps more importantly didn’t put the ball on the ground. We might be a long time from seeing that change but it’s something to monitor if Bradshaw continues to be productive and stays healthy.
– No doubting who the stars of the show were on Sunday, with the Indianapolis inside linebackers having themselves a heck of a ball game. D’Qwell Jackson was all over the short and intermediate throws coming his way and came up with a huge interception, but credit needs to go to Jerrell Freeman who had a beat on Tevin Coleman all day and led the Colts with five defensive stops.
LB D’Qwell Jackson (+5.3)
LB Jerrell Freeman (+3.9)
RT Joe Reitz (+3.5)
HB Ahmad Bradshaw (+2.0)
LT Anthony Castonzo (+!.3)
– Not a great day for Matt Ryan given his crucial pick-six that really undid a lot of good work. Outside of that, he didn’t handle the blitz as well as we’ve become accustomed to seeing but did good work in the intermediate areas where he completed 8 of 13 passes. Despite early attempts to get Roddy White involved in the offense (eight targets) it was Julio Jones he leaned on (as usual), showing off his full repertoire of how he beats defenders.
– Second-round rookie Jalen Collins is seeing more and more playing time, but as good as Desmond Trufant was, Collins was bad. Playing 31 snaps he was flagged for a costly third down penalty and allowed three first downs into his coverage.
– Speaking of rookies who struggled, the offense took a hit when Devonta Freeman left after just six snaps. That meant 49 snaps for Tevin Coleman and he did not respond well to it. It wasn’t just the fumble, but his inability to decisively hit the right hole and not taking advantage of some decent run blocking by his lineman.
RG Chris Chester (+4.1)
WR Julio Jones (+3.8)
CB Desmond Trufant (+3.3)
DE Kroy Biermann (+2.6)
LB Paul Worrilow (+2.6)