INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts put up yet another furious second-half comeback attempt against the New York Jets on Sunday, but they fell short, 42-34.
While it is disappointing to lose, it’s not always all bad if you look at the silver lining. Throughout the game, there were a handful of standout performances to take away as positives.
Here are some of the top Colts player performances for the week according to Pro Football Focus.
Defensive Lineman No. 4 (89.9), 36 snaps (51 percent)
The former second-round pick is really catching on here in Matt Eberflus’ system, as Ward registered his third sack of the season against the Jets. Along with the sack, he was credited with three tackles and two hurries.
Since being drafted in 2016, Ward bounced around from the Oakland Raiders to the Dallas Cowboys and now to the Colts. In just five games in Indianapolis, he already has a single-season career high in sacks.
Safety No. 1 (84.8), 54 snaps (76 percent)
The Colts were dealt the unfortunate hand of being without starting strong safety Clayton Geathers in Week 6 after leaving Week 5’s contest early with a neck injury/concussion. They were also forced to place his backup, Matthias Farley, on injured reserve.
The injuries led to the Colts signing Mitchell, a 10-year veteran who has started 85 games in his career, most recently for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
With just six days in between his signing and making the start for the Colts, he received the highest grade from PFF for any safety in the NFL (not counting the yet-to-be-played Monday Night Football matchup).
Mitchell was a representative on PFF’s Week 6 NFL Team of the Week:
“Six days after signing with the Colts, Mitchell finds his way onto our Team of the Week. Mitchell attempted seven tackles in the loss to the Jets and didn’t miss a single one. Of those seven tackles, five resulted in a defensive stop and, while he allowed a reception on both of the plays where he was the defender in primary coverage, those two receptions went for a combined six yards.”
PFF also featured Mitchell in an article, pointing out his achievements despite just being signed.
Mitchell’s 82.1 grade in run defense ranked first in the NFL among safeties, and his 72.6 grade in coverage ranked 10th. Overall, he was credited with five defensive “stops” — good for second among safeties — and missed zero tackles.
Center No. 3 (79.5), 69 snaps (100 percent)
Another week with more recognition for the Colts’ young interior line.
The anchor of the Colts’ line allowed two hurries/pressures and had one penalty (illegal block) on the day, but he was a road-grader in the run game. PFF gave him a grade of 89.0 with his run blocking, which helped the Colts run for 107 yards on 13 carries (8.2 avg) in the second half alone.
Offensive Guard No. 5 (75.7), 69 snaps (100 percent)
Nelson is back near the top after making PFF’s Team of the Week last week.
The rookie did have this “welcome to the NFL” moment against Jets defensive lineman Leonard Williams — one of the league's bright, young defensive linemen — but overall Nelson had a very good game.
According to PFF, he allowed no sacks, hits or hurries/pressures and had no penalties. Like was mentioned with Kelly, the Colts opened up a ton of holes for running backs Marlon Mack and Nyheim Hines in the second half.