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Colts' Special Teams Efforts Stand Out In Pro Football Focus' Week 17 Grades

The Indianapolis Colts made a strong impression on Pro Football Focus when it came to special teams in their season-finale loss on Sunday to the Jacksonville Jaguars. They also performed well at running the ball and stopping the run.


INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts fell short in their 2019 regular season finale on Sunday, coming up on the wrong end of a 38-20 outcome against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field.

Despite the loss, they got a strong effort out of Marlon Mack and their run game, as well as the front seven and the run defense. However, most notably, their special teams played at a high level.

Pro Football Focus took notice, making the Colts very well represented in their weekly grades. In order of highest grade first, here are the Colts players who earned top-10 grades at their respective positions on Sunday:

Braden Smith

Offensive Tackle No. 9 (76.9), 56 snaps (100 percent)

The Colts' second-year right tackle had a strong finish to his season, posting a grade of 85.3 as a run blocker. That was the third-best run-blocking grade among all tackles this week, and it was Smith's third-best run-blocking performance of the season. Sunday counts as the Colts' 10th game of the season exceeding 100 rushing yards as they went for 132 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries (4.9 avg.).

Individually, PFF has given Smith better grades in pass protection — they dinged him with four pressures (two hurries, one hit, one sack) — but the Colts' pass protection struggled as a whole down the stretch as Jacksonville ratcheted up the pressure.

Justin Houston

Edge Defender No. 10 (75.7), 31 snaps (45 percent)

Houston put a big punctuation on his first season as a Colt, forcing a fumble on his 11th sack of the year, which is his most since 2014. At the time, the Colts were down by just four points and looking to regain their earlier lead. It was Houston's only tackle of the day, but PFF also credited him with two other hurries on Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II.

Ashton Dulin

Kick Returner No. 3 (73.4), 17 snaps (63 percent)

In Week 16, it was Nyheim Hines and the punt returns, this week it was Dulin and his kickoff returns. He took out three kickoff returns, totaling 90 yards (30.0 avg.).

Trading points back and forth in the second quarter, Jacksonville scored a touchdown to take a 13-10 lead, and Dulin returned the ensuing kickoff for a career long of 46 yards. The drive would end with a Mack touchdown as the Colts retook the lead.

Chase McLaughlin

Kicker No. 7 (68.0), 4 snaps (15 percent)

The Colts chose wisely when they claimed McLaughlin to replace an injured Adam Vinatieri. The rookie was perfect against the Jaguars on Sunday, hitting both field goals (20 and 50 yards, tying his career-long) and both extra points, scoring eight of the Colts' 20 points and bringing his totals with the Colts on the season to 5-of-6 on field goals (83.3 percent) and 11-of-11 on extra points (100.0 percent).

Rigoberto Sanchez

Punter No. 5 (65.7), 12 snaps (44 percent)

Sanchez only punted three times on the day, but he got all three within the Jaguars' 20-yard line. He averaged 44.3 yards per punt, and after only one of his kicks was returned, he earned a net averaged of 42.7 yards.

Sanchez also kicked off five times, two of them going for touchbacks. The other thee were returned for an average of 36.7 yards.

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