After another crushing divisional loss, the Colts have a quick turnaround, becoming the main event for Amazon Prime’s Thursday Night Football. Who will have the biggest impact on Week Five?
Despite falling to 1-2-1, Sunday’s loss was closer than expected. There are some hidden gems, in the Colts disappointing game against the Titans, for the team to build upon as they head to Denver to take on Russell Wilson and the Broncos. Which players will continue with their much needed offensive contributions? Which players will remain consistent in their defensive roles?
Colts Wide Receiver Alex Pierce
Each week Pierce has stepped up his game. More receptions, better routes, and tough blocking have been on his to do list. Outside of Week One where he was sidelined due to a concussion, Pierce has made his presence known. Second in targets, receptions, and yards, look for Alec to keep up with that momentum.
Pierce, Michael Pittman, Jr., and a host of other Colts receivers will battle the Denver Broncos secondary, which ranks fifth in passing defense this season. Pierce will have his hands full going against veteran Ronald Darby, but he has shown he is up for the challenge. Look for Pierce to add to his receptions and yard total and hopefully bring in his first career touchdown.
Alec Pierce coming up CLUTCH for the Colts with this catch 👀 pic.twitter.com/vnu7xD0zkX — NFL Rookie Watch (@NFLRookieWatxh) October 2, 2022
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Colts Running Back Nyheim Hines
With starter Jonathan Taylor dealing with an ankle injury that could limit production, Hines is next on the depth chart. Used primarily as a receiver in this offense, Hines has big shoes to fill for the Colts. Having only eight rushing attempts and eleven yards last week, it seems like he will get a crash course this week in ball-carrying.
Although he is not the same body type as Jonathan Taylor, Nyheim provides an explosion that Taylor arguably doesn’t have. Hines’s catching ability has made him a playmaker, even back to his Ohio State days. He is the Colts secret weapon! This week can showcase more of his run-after-the-catch capabilities and his deceptive agility in cut-and-run plays. Denver struggled against the Raiders’ Josh Jacobs, who had a tremendous 175 total yards. This is a good sign for the Colts and Nyheim.
Update: Nyheim Hines is fast ✌️ 📺 CBS pic.twitter.com/drUn4di1aX — Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) September 26, 2021
Colts Defensive Tackle Grover Stewart
Unquestionably the best Colts lineman this year, Grover Stewart has been a madman. With a total of 15 tackles this season, he has applied pressure every week. (Truthfully, the right side of the defensive line has been creating havoc.)
Creating pressure is key this week and every week. Russel Wilson has already been sacked 12 times this season. Not to mention, Broncos starting running back Javonte Williams won’t be available Thursday night as he went down Sunday with a serious knee injury. “Fumble Monster” Melvin Gordan will be up next. Something to watch: Denver is ranked 18th in rush offense and the Colts, headed by Stewart, are sixth in rushing defense. “Big Grove” will impose his will on the Broncos offensive line and add a couple of sacks to his resume.
Grover Stewart on his approach this season: “I need to blow up all the plays and that’s my goal.” 🎥 @LedyardNFLDraftpic.twitter.com/eGKNsaC70s — Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) September 26, 2022
This week should be another week where Colts role players step into the spotlight. The team needs to play aggressive and fast defense. Continued cohesiveness with Matt Ryan and the team’s weapons at his disposal should peak as well. Perhaps the best thing to note with all of the problems this season is that it’s the beginning of the year; there is still time to fix any and all issues.
Denver is in the crosshairs this week and it should be a smooth win for Indy. (The Broncos are having their own offensive worries while the Colts defense is starting to gel as a unit.)
The Denver Broncos’ Offense: What Went Wrong?
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