INDIANAPOLIS — It wasn't always pretty, but the Indianapolis Colts managed to come out on top over the Denver Broncos on Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium, 15-13.
Like we've seen more of lately, it took a complete team effort in all three phases of the game to get the job done, whether it was the offense coming up big in the end, the defense smothering the Broncos' offense on third down, or Adam Vinatieri booting multiple kicks from further than 50 yards, the Colts needed everybody with a horseshoe on their helmet in order to win.
Pro Football Focus graded out a handful of Colts players favorably. In order of highest grade first, here are the Colts players who earned top-10 grades at their position on Sunday:
Mark Glowinski and Quenton Nelson
Guard No. 2 (75.0 [64 snaps, 100 percent]) and No. 9 (73.8 [64 snaps, 100 percent]), respectively.
The Colts' guards made a good impression on PFF, as both of them finished top-10 in their position for the week. They helped the Colts accomplish a quality day running the ball, as they totaled 127 yards on 31 carries (4.1 avg.), their fourth game with at least 125 rushing yards this season. The passing game didn't quite get off the ground, as the Colts totaled 191 yards after factoring in four sacks allowed; however, of those four sacks, neither were allowed by Glowinski or Nelson, according to PFF.
Glowinski was credited with allowing just two pressures — a quarterback hit and a hurry. Nelson also allowed just two pressures, both being quarterback hurries.
Head coach Frank Reich knew the Colts were going to be in for a battle against Denver's top-five-ranked defense.
“Yeah, a really good defensive line (with) a good scheme, very disciplined. I already said all of that stuff, but I thought they played solid. It wasn’t our best game of the year. It was not our worst game of the year," Reich told reporters Monday in a conference call. "I actually thought we ran the ball fairly well at times. In some ways it was down, but – obviously Jacoby (Brissett) had some good yards in there for us doing what he does. But I thought Marlon (Mack) looked particularly sharp and I think Marlon really looked good. We created some nice holes for him."
Both Glowinski and Nelson had great blocks on running back Marlon Mack's 10-yard touchdown run (below):
Zach Pascal and Chester Rogers
Kick Returner No. 3 (67.4 [9 snaps, 30 percent]) and tied-No. 10 (62.0 [7 snaps, 23 percent]), respectively.
Pascal returned two kickoffs on the day, including a career-long 47-yarder on the game's opening kickoff. His 76 kickoff return yards were a single-game career high and the fourth-most of anyone in the NFL through Sunday's Week 8 games.
Rogers only had one punt return on the day, but it was a quality eight-yard return. Otherwise, he had five fair catches (tops in the league in Week 8) on the day in which he secured all of them and didn't put the Colts in any sticky situations, field position-wise.
On offense, Pascal and Rogers each caught one-of-two targets, totaling 13 yards (6.5 avg.).
Position No. 10 (61.4), 15 snaps (50 percent)
Sanchez punted five times on Sunday, compiling a 46.4 average and a 42.0 net. Three of the five punts were returned, totaling 22 yards (7.3 avg.). Two of the five were downed inside the Broncos' 20-yard line, while one was fair caught. He also had five kickoffs on the day, two of which were returned for 39 yards (19.5 avg.), and the other three resulting in touchbacks. The Broncos' average starting field position was the 24.6 yard line.