IND-CIN grades: Defenses lead the way in low-scoring Colts’ preseason Week 4 win

Top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Indianapolis Colts' preseason Week 4 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.

| 10 months ago
(John Grieshop/Getty Images)

(John Grieshop/Getty Images)

IND-CIN grades: Defenses lead the way in low-scoring Colts’ preseason Week 4 win

Indianapolis Colts 13, Cincinnati Bengals 10

A look at the takeaways from the Colts’ low-scoring preseason Week 4 win over the Bengals.

Indianapolis Colts

Quarterback grades: Scott Tolzien 72.0, Stephen Morris 55.3

Scott Tolzien completed 11-of-12 passes, but for only 88 yards as both offenses struggled to drive the ball against their respective defenses, thanks to a mighty pass rush by both teams. Morris played in the second half and actually directed his team to the win with a late drive. Morris completed 20-of-30 passes, which included a drop and an interception, totaling 217 yards, including the game-winning touchdown pass.

Top offensive grades

T Jeremy Vujnovich, 80.4

C Austin Blythe, 79.7

G Adam Redmond, 74.4

QB Scott Tolzien, 72.0

WR Chester Rogers, 65.2

C Austin Blythe has strong showing

Blythe, the rookie center from Iowa, looked decent, as he is in the middle of an adjustment from an all-zone-blocking offense in college to more power and gap schemes for the Colts. He was the team’s second-highest-graded offensive player, and was in the middle of the action most of the night. As for Tolzien, he didn’t have much to do, but he had a steady hand on a night where both teams were shaky on offense. The offensive line, meanwhile, struggled. Their inability to create any space on the ground and struggle protecting the passer led to the game being a low-scoring one.

Top defensive grades

LB Curt Maggitt, 79.2

LB Antonio Morrison, 79.2

LB Earl Okine, 79.0

DI Arthur Jones, 78.4

S Lee Hightower, 78.2

LB Curt Maggitt leads the way on defense

Maggitt was a huge run-stopper for the Colts, earning the team’s highest defensive grade with two tackles, two stops, and an assist. DL Sterling Bailey was a presence in the backfield all night long, with three tackles and three stops. He gave the interior of the Bengals’ offensive line trouble all night.

Cincinnati Bengals

Quarterback grades: AJ McCarron 47.2, Keith Wenning, 47.0

A.J. McCarron struggled mightily in his last tune-up before the season, overthrowing many passes and failing to get in any sort of rhythm. McCarron completed 6-of-11 passes for 72 yards with no drops. He had a 47.2 passing grade and looked far from being an NFL starting quarterback. Keith Wenning fared about the same, grade-wise. He completed 12-of-24 passes and threw for 150 yards.

A.J. McCarron preseason passing summary


Top offensive grades

G Christian Westerman, 74.9

C Alex Cooper, 74.5

WR Jake Kumerow, 72.8

G Trey Hopkins, 70.7

WR Alonzo Russell, 62.4

WR Jake Kumerow has solid performance while CIN offense struggles

Kumerow had a solid game, with three catches on five targets for 61 yards on a night where the Bengals struggled on offense. McCarron’s inaccuracies, combined with a lackluster performance from the offensive line, led to Cincinnati finding no rhythm on offense. McCarron looked hesitant in the pocket and missed several open receivers.

Top defensive grades

LB Nick Vigil, 85.9

DI DeShawn Williams, 85.0

S Clayton Fejedelem, 80.8

CB Chykie Brown, 79.7

S Jimmy Wilson, 73.9

DI DeShawn Williams has a big night attacking the quarterback

Williams was maybe the most impactful player on the field for the Bengals on Thursday. He had two QB hurries, a QB hit, a tackle, two assists, and a stop. More importantly, his played allowed the others around him to roam, as he regularly disrupted his area of the field. LB Nick Vigil had a strong performances as well, with three tackles and a strong showing in pass coverage.

| Analyst

Taylor is an offensive line and run-game specialist at Pro Football Focus. He has coached at every level of college football, with experience at Mississippi Gulf Coast, Central Missouri, and Wyoming.

  • hitdog042

    What qb looked like an NFL starter in the 4th pre season game playing with 3rd stringers? Your comment on McCarron is ridiculous. You must be new.