from first- and second-year players to pull off a fourth quarter comeback win at home against the Miami Dolphins. The defensive side of the ball is still more heavily represented Jordan Wilkins Color Rush Jersey
, with Darius Leonard showing no signs of slowing his blistering pace. However, an even larger group of young players is getting involved on both sides of the ball.Let’s take a look.OFFENSERookie offensive linemen Quenton Nelson and Braden Smith continue to dominate in terms of snap count. They both played 100% of the offensive snaps and are locked in as long-term starters at their respective positions. The offensive line gave ups its first sack in over five weeks on Sunday, with Cameron Wake beating Smith around the edge. An earlier sack was waived off due to a defensive penalty called against Miami. Robert Quinn came around the edge against Anthony Castonzo, while Luck stood in the pocket like a statue. This sack would have been on Luck for holding the ball way too long if it stood.One of the bigger surprises of the game is that Nelson was called for numerous penalties, making life difficult for Andrew Luck and the offense. His first penalty was in the second quarter on a Marlon Mack run, the film shows that the call was questionable at best. If there was a hold, it didn’t impact the play at all. The second hold occurred on the Colts first drive of the fourth quarter. This appeared to be a guess by the side judge. The reason Nelson drew the flag is because his right hand slid outside of the defender’s shoulders. As in-game commentators often mention, it is a cardinal sin for an offensive lineman to allow his hands to get outside of a defender’s body because officials will throw the flag all day — even if they get it wrong. In this case, the defender lost his balance as he tried to redirect toward the rushing lane, which required that he move through Nelson’s left arm that was likely planted deeply in his sternum. The outside hand doesn’t grab or otherwise pull on the jersey but he was called for the penalty anyway. Officially, the penalty was declined on him and accepted on Jack Doyle.The third penalty was a false start on the same fourth quarter drive. There is no explaining this one. Nelson flinched with his right arm and when the defender reacted, tried to play it off. The officials saw the flinch and he was rightly called for a false start.Rookie running backs Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins both received backfield snaps. Hines led the rookies with 26 snaps. He carried the ball 9 times for 28 yards and caught 2 passes for another 22 yards. Wilkins saw the field for 8 early offensive snaps and did not receive a rushing opportunity. He did catch two passes for 32 yards but coughed up a fumble that was recovered by the Dolphins. Second-year feature running back Marlon Mack played on 36 offensive snaps https://www.coltsfanshop.com/Henry-Anderson-Jersey
, leading the team with 15 attempts, 85 rushing yards and 2 receptions for 11 yards. His average of 5.7 yards per carry and long run of 25 yards were both impressive. A concussion on a helmet-to-helmet hit from Kiko Alonso has him in concussion protocol and uncertain for next week’s game in Jacksonville.DEFENSEEach week is the same story on defense, at least as it pertains to rookie contributions. No defensive player has a greater impact on the game than Darius Leonard. He took the field for 48 defensive snaps, missing only five after an early injury scare. He led the team with 10 tackles and had the defense’s only sack of the day. Leonard has stretched his tackle lead to 17 over the next defender and has played in 10 games — each of those players have played in 11. He is averaging 11.4 tackles per game. They are averaging 8.8. He also leads the team in sacks, on a team that rarely blitzes.Second round rookie ends Tyquan Lewis and Kemoko Turay both had opportunities. Surprisingly, Lewis more than doubled Turay’s snap count — 40 to 17 respectively. Neither rookie recorded a tackle but both collected quarterback hits. Lewis led the team with 2 and Turay added another. This is a situation worth monitoring as the team moves forward. Turay had really started showing signs of development so it is tough to fully speculate as to the reason Matt Eberflus felt like sticking with Lewis. Perhaps even more surprising is that Lewis received more snaps than Jabaal Sheard as well. It would be interesting to break down how many of those snaps were at defensive tackle.Tied with Turay was linebacker Matthew Adams, who used his 17 snaps to make three tackles, including a monster hit on DeVante Parker late in the fourth quarter to help force a three-and-out. Early in the season, Zaire Franklin was getting more opportunities on defense. Now, Adams has taken over those reps.Undrafted rookie linebacker Skai Moore also saw the field for 7 defensive snaps but did not record a tackle. He came onto the field to replace Darius Leonard for the five snaps he missed early in the game. The second-year defenders were led by Kenny Moore II and Malik Hooker, who both played on every defensive snap. Moore had two tackles and pass defensed. Hooker had two tackles and an unofficial pass breakup on what would have otherwise been a Quincy Wilson interception in the end zone.Linebacker Anthony Walker had another solid game. He used his 41 snaps to gather 9 tackles, two tackles for a loss and a pass defensed. He drew a defensive pass interference call early in the game playing aggressively in the middle of the field and nearly had a pick-six that he wasn’t able to haul-in — intended for Frank Gore. If he can continue to develop in coverage Joe Haeg Jersey
, the Colts could be in really good shape at linebacker in 2019.Corner Quincy Wilson was on the field for 36 defensive snaps and had one tackle with one pass defensed. The pass breakup was on great coverage in the end zone. Defensive tackle Grover Stewart saw the field for 13 snaps. His only contributions were a tackle that was waived off due to an offensive holding penalty and an embarrassing off-sides penalty that came during an obvious hard count situation at the end of the third quarter. INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Andrew Luck has a one-track mind.With two regular-season games left, the Indianapolis Colts quarterback insists he’s paying no attention to playoff possibilities, scoreboards or other teams’ schedules. Instead, he’s focused on the only thing he considers important this weekend — beating the New York Giants on Sunday.“I’ve been a part of teams where you sit and say, ‘We need this to happen with this.’ It doesn’t work like that,” Luck said. “You’ve got to handle your own business.”Article continues below ...Few teams can match what the Colts (8-6) have done lately. They’ve rebounded from a 1-5 start to win seven of eight and put themselves back in the postseason hunt. After losing their first two home games, they’ve won five straight at Lucas Oil Stadium, and if they can beat the Giants (5-9), they could control their own playoff path.Coach Frank Reich doesn’t do business that way, though.The former NFL quarterback simply asks his players to do their jobs: keep two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning and Offensive Rookie of the Year contender Saquon Barkley in check; prepare for the possible return of Pro Bowl receiver Odell Beckham Jr.; and expose the holes in New York’s defense.New York, meanwhile, hopes it can continue a strong second half after starting 1-7. While winning two of three and four six John Simon Color Rush Jersey
, the Giants already have knocked off NFC North champion Chicago and playoff hopeful Washington. They will be playing spoiler at Indianapolis.“You’re chasing wins,” Manning said. “We’re football players and this is what we do. We play football, that’s our passion, that’s our job, and we’re going to go out there and do it well and be able to celebrate some wins.”It won’t be easy.Indy pitched its first shutout in four years while rushing for 178 yards against Dallas’ No. 3-ranked run defense last week. Luck is playing the best football of his career and the defense looks as stout as it has in almost a decade.The combination has made Indy a trendy pick as the team nobody wants to play, and if the Colts can win their last two, they could end a three-year playoff absence. But the Colts know they must stick to the plan.“I am just very convinced there is no other way to approach it,” Reich said. “I have been around a lot of good coaches, a lot of good players (and) that is just what I have come to believe, experience and learn. There can’t be any wavering from that (focal point).”SACK HAPPYIt’s been feast or famine when it comes to sacks for the Giants. They had 14 in the first 11 games, and then picked up five each in the next two weeks against Chicago and Washington.The added pressure resulted in four interceptions, including touchdown returns by linebacker Alec Ogletree against the Bears and Curtis Riley against the Redskins. Things got back to the norm in last week’s shutout loss to Tennessee when New York had one sack and no interceptions.Facing the Colts might not help. Indy has allowed just 16 sacks this season https://www.coltsfanshop.com/Chester-Rogers-Jersey
, tied for fewest in the league.TACKLE WATCHRookie linebacker Darius Leonard acknowledged he was “heartbroken” not to make the AFC’s Pro Bowl team this week despite leading the league with 146 tackles.And he hopes to take out his frustration on the Giants this weekend. Leonard says his weekly goal is to get 25 tackles, though he’s upped the ante this week by saying he’s hoping to finish with 40. If he hits either mark, Leonard will break Jeff Herrod’s 27-year-old franchise record for tackles in one season.Leonard needs 15 tackles to move past Herrod (160).BARKLEY REBOUNDSPro Bowl running back Barkley was held to 31 yards on 14 carries in the loss to the Titans, his second-lowest total this season. The rookie ran for just 28 yards against Dallas in Week 2.The second pick overall in the draft also had 56 yards from scrimmage last week, marking the second time in 14 games he’s been held below 100.Despite the bad game, Barkley is third in the league in rushing with 1,155 yards and he is not looking for a break even though the Giants have been eliminated from playoff contention.“I would love my workload to be whatever it can be to help the team win,” Barkley said. “I’ve said multiple times, if that’s 10 carries or if that’s 40 touches. I bumped it up to 40 this time.”THE COMEBACK KIDLuck’s comeback season has been better than expected.His completion percentage (67.3) is at a career high and he’s six completions away from a career best in that category, too.What else? Luck heads into the final two games needing 810 yards and seven TD passes to break his previous career highs.