2018 Colts Review: Milestones Achieved

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INDIANAPOLIS — Our comprehensive look back on the 2018 Indianapolis Colts season continues today with a deep dive into the team's milestones throughout the year, which was full of achievements reached along the way to its improbable playoff run.

What a season it was for the 2018 Indianapolis Colts. It was a season of great change and overcoming challenges (starting 1-5) to reach goals (finish 10-6 and make the playoffs), both as individuals and as a team.

Although football is the ultimate team sport, the Colts' season is now over. It's time to take a look at some of the top things that they achieved individually and as a unit.

TEAM

  • Started five rookies in Week 1 — Darius Leonard, Skai Moore, Quenton Nelson, Braden Smith and Jordan Wilkins — the most on opening day for the team in the Indianapolis era
  • Has had at least one undrafted rookie free agent make the team’s opening day, 53-man roster for the past 20 seasons
  • In their 37-5 win over the Buffalo Bills in Week 7, the Colts reached 300 wins in the Indianapolis era (including postseason), becoming the 12th team to reach that mark since the Colts arrived in Indianapolis in 1984
  • Became just the third team in NFL history to make the playoffs after beginning the season with a 1-5 record
  • Linebacker Darius Leonard and guard Quenton Nelson became the first rookie teammates to be named First-Team All-Pro since Dick Butkus and Gale Sayers with the Chicago Bears in 1965
  • Head coach Frank Reich was named AFC Coach of the Year by NFL 101
  • General manager Chris Ballard was named Executive of the Year by the Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA)

TEAM DEFENSE

  • Tied the NFL record for tackles for loss in the first four games of a season (31) since at least 1994
  • Became the final team for the season to have a turnover in every game, lasting 13 games, and forced at least one turnover in a league-most 15-of-16 games
  • Finished as one of three teams (Houston Texans and New Orleans Saints) to not allow a 100-yard rusher in the regular season despite facing five of the league’s top 10 rushers
  • In Week 15, handed the Dallas Cowboys their first shutout since 2003
  • Had a league-leading four players with at least 12 tackles for loss
  • In the Wild Card Round of the playoffs, held the Houston Texans to seven points; their lowest total of the season and the only time held to single digits

TEAM OFFENSE

  • Had back-to-back 200-yard rushing games (Weeks 7-8) for the first time since 1985
  • Went 239 consecutive passes attempts without allowing a sack (Weeks 5-12), which is the third-longest streak in NFL history behind Dan Marino (759) and Mark Rypien (252). The five consecutive games without a sack is also tied for the third-longest streak since 1982 with the 2010 New York Giants and 2008 Tennessee Titans
  • Allowed the fewest sacks in the league (18) and had the top sack rate (2.7 percent)
  • Finished No. 1 on third down (48.6 percent)
  • Had four players with at least 50 receptions for just the fifth time in a single season team history (T.Y. Hilton [76], Eric Ebron [66], Nyheim Hines [63], Chester Rogers [53])
  • Their 6,179 yards of offense was the third-most in a single season in franchise history
  • Their 200 rushing yards against the Kansas City Chiefs in the Wild Card Round is now the franchise postseason record

QUARTERBACKS

Andrew Luck

  • Single-season career highs in completions (430), pass attempts (639), completion percentage (67.3 percent), passer rating (98.7), ESPN QBR (71.6) and Pro Football Focus grade (91.3)
  • In Week 4 against the Texans, broke the franchise record for pass attempts in a game by throwing 62 and tied the record for completions (40). His 464 passing yards ranked second
  • His 121 pass attempts in Weeks 4-5 are the second-most pass attempts in a two-game span in NFL history and the most ever in a five-day span (Philip Rivers holds the record with 123 pass attempts in Weeks 6-7 in 2015)
  • Joined Aaron Rodgers (160) and Dan Marino (182) as the only players in NFL history to have 160 or more touchdowns in their first 80 career games
  • Tied Peyton Manning (eight) for the second-most consecutive games with at least three passing touchdowns in NFL history (Weeks 4-12). Luck trails only Tom Brady, who had 10 consecutive games in 2011
  • Streak of 34 consecutive games with a touchdown pass ended, ranking as the eighth-longest such streak in NFL history and second in franchise history
  • Surpassed 23,000 career passing yards and joined Matthew Stafford as the only players to reach that milestone in 84 career games
  • Improved his all-time record against the Tennessee Titans to 11-0 and is the only quarterback in NFL history to boast an 11-0 record against a single opponent
  • Threw a touchdown pass to 13 different receivers, tying the single-season NFL record with Matt Ryan (2016) and Drew Brees (2018)
  • Finalist for Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award (Colts nominee)
  • NFL Comeback Player of the Year (Associated Press, Sporting News, PFWA)
  • 2019 Pro Bowl selection
  • AFC Offensive Player of the Month (November)
  • AFC Offensive Player of the Week (Week 11)
  • FedEx NFL Air Player of the Week (Week 12)

RUNNING BACKS

Nyheim Hines

  • Finished the season with the third-most receptions by a rookie in franchise history (63)

Marlon Mack

  • Single-season career highs in carries (195), rushing yards (908), yards per carry (4.7), rushing touchdowns (nine), touchdowns from scrimmage (10) and PFF grade (70.3)
  • Became just the third player in franchise history to have multiple games with 125 or more rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns in a single season, joining Eric Dickerson (1987) and Edgerrin James (1999, 2005)
  • His 148 rushing yards against the Texans in the Wild Card Round were the most by a single player in a playoff game in franchise history

WIDE RECEIVERS

T.Y. Hilton

  • It would be silly not to acknowledge the season Hilton had after missing roughly two-and-a-half games and battling through injuries nearly the whole time. Two areas he did have a career high in was receiving yards per game (90.7) and PFF grade (87.7)
  • Broke Marvin Harrison’s franchise record for career 150-yard receiving games (11)

Marcus Johnson

  • Single-season career highs in receptions (six), receiving yards (102), receiving touchdowns (one) and carries (one)

Chester Rogers

  • Single-season career highs in receptions (53), targets (72), receiving yards (485), receiving touchdowns (two), punt returns (23), punt return yards (215), punt return average (9.3) and PFF grade (63.1)

TIGHT ENDS

  • In Week 8 against the Oakland Raiders, Mo Alie-Cox, Jack Doyle and Eric Ebron became the first tight end trio to each score a touchdown in the same game in NFL history
  • As a group, led the NFL in tight end touchdowns (22) in 2018

Jack Doyle

  • Ed Block Courage Award

Eric Ebron

  • Single-season career highs in receptions (66), targets (110), receiving yards (750), receiving touchdowns (13), carries (three) and touchdowns from scrimmage (14)
  • In Week 10, joined Rob Gronkowski as the only other tight end in NFL history to have two receiving and one rushing touchdowns in a single game
  • In Week 12, broke Dallas Clark’s franchise record for touchdowns by a tight end in a single season (11)
  • Led all NFL tight ends in touchdowns and was tied for second overall in receiving touchdowns. Finished the regular season tied for the seventh-most touchdowns from scrimmage (14) by a tight end in NFL history
  • 2019 Pro Bowl selection

Ryan Hewitt

  • Single-season career high in receiving touchdowns (one)

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN

Quenton Nelson

  • First-Team All-Pro (Associated Press, Sporting News)
  • All-NFL Team (PFWA)
  • All-AFC Team (PFWA)
  • All-Rookie Team (PFWA)
  • 2019 Pro Bowl selection
  • NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month (October). Is the first interior offensive lineman to receive the award in NFL history and only the seventh offensive lineman overall

Braden Smith

  • All-Rookie Team (PFWA)

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN

Denico Autry

  • Single-season career highs in tackles (37), tackles for loss (13), sacks (9.0), forced fumbles (two), QB hits (11) and PFF grade (69.9)
  • In Week 13 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, had seven tackles (three for loss), 3.0 sacks and two forced fumbles. He became the seventh NFL player since 1994 to have at least three tackles for loss, 3.0 sacks and two forced fumble in one game
  • AFC Defensive Player of the Week (Week 14)

Margus Hunt

  • Single-season career highs in tackles (30), tackles for loss (13), sacks (5.0), forced fumbles (one), fumbles recovered (one)

Al-Quadin Muhammad

  • Single-season career highs in tackles (28), tackles for loss (five), fumbles recovered (one), pass breakups (one), QB hits (two) and PFF grade (64.4)

Carroll Phillips

  • Single-season career high in tackles (five)

Jabaal Sheard

  • Single-season career high in tackles for loss (14)
  • Colts Man of the Year (Nominee for NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year Award)

Grover Stewart

  • Single-season career high in tackles for loss (two)

Jihad Ward

  • Single-season career highs in sacks (3.0), tackles for loss (three) and PFF grade (75.7)

LINEBACKERS

Najee Goode

  • Single-season career highs in interceptions (one)

Darius Leonard

  • His 19 tackles in Week 2 were the most by a Colts rookie since at least 1994, and the second-most in a single game in franchise history
  • Joined Broderick Thomas as the only players in NFL history to have at least 150 tackles and 7.0 sacks in a single season
  • Broke the franchise record for tackles in a season by finishing with 163
  • Led the NFL in tackles, becoming the first rookie to do so since Luke Kuechly in 2012
  • According to Pro-Football-Reference.com, Leonard is the only player since 1982, when sacks became an official statistic, to record a season with 160 tackles, 7.0 sacks and two interceptions
  • First-Team All-Pro (Associated Press)
  • NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year (Associated Press, PFWA)
  • All-Rookie Team (PFWA)
  • All-AFC Team (PFWA)
  • NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month (September)
  • AFC Defensive Player of the Month (December)
  • AFC Defensive Player of the Week (Weeks 2, 17)
  • NFL Rookie of the Week (Weeks 2, 8)

Anthony Walker

  • Single-season career highs in tackles (105), tackles for loss (10), sacks (1.0), fumbles recovered (one), interceptions (one), pass breakups (four) and QB hits (two)

DEFENSIVE BACKS

Pierre Desir

  • Single-season career highs in tackles (79), tackles for loss (two), forced  fumbles (two), fumbles recovered (one), pass breakups (eight) and PFF grade (77.7)

Clayton Geathers

  • Single-season career high in tackles (89)

Malik Hooker

  • Single-season career highs in tackles (44) and fumbles recovered (one)

Chris Milton

  • Single-season career high in tackles (10)

Mike Mitchell

  • AFC Defensive Player of the Week (Week 7)

Corey Moore

  • Single-season career high in interceptions (one)

Kenny Moore II

  • Single-season career highs in tackles (77), tackles for loss (four), sacks (1.5), interceptions (three), pass breakups (11) and PFF grade (69.2)
  • Against the Chiefs in the Wild Card Round, became the first Colts player since 1982 to have a sack and an interception in a playoff game
  • His 3.0 sacks in the playoffs are a postseason single-season franchise record

Quincy Wilson

  • Single-season career highs in tackles (27), fumbles recovered (one) and PFF grade (79.7)

SPECIAL TEAMS

Luke Rhodes

  • Single-season career highs in tackles (four) and PFF grade (80.8)

Rigoberto Sanchez

  • Single-season career highs in punt average (46.1), net punt average (42.7), inside-20 rate (42.1 percent), kickoffs (95) and touchbacks (63)
  • Opponent's 4.4 yards per punt return ranked No. 1 in the league

Adam Vinatieri

  • Set the all-time NFL converted field goal record (565), which now sits at 582
  • Set the all-time NFL record for points (2,544), which now sits at 2,600
  • Set the all-time NFL record for regular season wins (209), which now sits at 215
  • Passed Gary Anderson (161) for the most field goals made from 40-49 yards in NFL history
  • Extended his NFL record of 100-point seasons to 21
  • Passed Phil Dawson and John Kasay (42) for the fourth-most made field goals from 50 or more yards in NFL history
  • Passed Jeff Feagles for the third-most regular season games played in NFL history (353)
  • Passed Robert Mathis and Justin Snow for the seventh-most games played in franchise history (193)
  • Became the fourth player ever to play in an NFL game at the age of 46 years or older, joining George Blanda (48), Morten Andersen (47) and John Carney (46)
  • Joined Blanda as the only players to appear in a playoff game at 46 years or older
  • AFC Special Teams Player of the Week (Week 8)

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