INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts defended their home turf on Sunday in a 27-24 Week 3 victory over the Atlanta Falcons in their 2019 home opener.
Quarterback Jacoby Brissett had one of the best games of his career, the run game made plays when it needed to, and the defense was able to get some key stops. It took all 60 minutes, and it took all phases of the game, but the Colts were able to come out on top and go above .500 and improve to 2-1.
Brissett's pass-catchers made quite an impression on Pro Football Focus this week, as a few of them were among a handful of Colts players that graded well in the team's victory.
In order of highest grade first, here are the Colts players who earned top-10 grades at their position on Sunday:
Tight Ends No. 2 (89.8 [27 snaps, 38 percent]) and No. 7 (82.4 [49 snaps, 69 percent]), respectively.
Because of the success of the Colts' run game through the first two games, the tight ends had yet to make a big impact in the passing game. That all changed Sunday against the Falcons as Alie-Cox, Doyle and Eric Ebron (Week 3's No. 14 tight end) combined for nine receptions on 10 targets for 118 yards (13.1 avg). Highlights from the group featured seven first downs (including a defensive pass interference call), a 30-yard reception by Ebron and the game-clinching reception for a first down by Doyle that resulted in the Colts kneeling down in the victory formation. The three tight ends — led in PFF's rankings by Alie-Cox and Doyle — were a huge part in Brissett having his career day as he had an average passer rating of 115.6 when targeting the trio. Running back Marlon Mack also ran for 74 yards on the day, aided by the Colts' reliance on tight ends as blockers.
Wide Receiver No. 8 (80.3), 37 snaps (52 percent)
Hilton only played in the first half after re-aggravating a quad injury that had limited him throughout the week of practice, but he made a huge impact in that time. He caught 8-of-10 targets for 65 yards and a touchdown, his fourth score of the season. Hilton led the Colts in all of those categories despite not playing in the final two quarters. His most impressive play of the day was a huge catch on a 26-yard fly route where he took a huge (penalized) shot from Falcons safety Ricardo Allen but held onto the ball. Brissett had a passer rating of 127.1 when targeting "The Ghost."
Defensive Lineman No. 10 (79.2), 46 snaps (75 percent)
Autry briefly left the field with an eye injury but made it back on to earn the highest grade among Colts interior defensive linemen. He was officially credited with two tackles (one solo), but he also generated two quarterback hurries according to PFF, as well as one "stop." The latter is considered a play that forces an offensive "failure." The two hurries were second only to Justin Houston on the Colts' defense. His 79.2 overall grade was tops on the Colts' defense, as was his 71.4 pass-rush grade.
Kicker No. 3 (67.8), 5 snaps (23 percent)
The G.O.A.T. bounced back in a big way on Sunday. He missed five combined kicks in the first two weeks but then converted all five of his attempts (two field goals, three extra points) against the Falcons while back in the friendly confines of Lucas Oil Stadium. Vinatieri's five combined makes were tied for second in the NFL in Week 3 behind only Dan Bailey of the Minnesota Vikings and Joe Slye of the Carolina Panthers' six.