INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts got back to their winning ways on Sunday, defeating the Jacksonville Jaguars, 33-13, in their biggest margin of victory on the season.
It was obviously a total team effort as the offense consistency sliced its way down the field, the defense came up with big stops and special teams chipped in seven points and provided quality coverage.
For their efforts, the Colts were incredibly well represented near the top of Pro Football Focus' grades this week, with left guard Quenton Nelson making his second consecutive appearance on PFF's "NFL Team of the Week," and running back Jonathan Williams joining him on the list.
In order of highest grade first, here are the Colts players who earned top-10 grades at their respective positions on Sunday:
Bobby Okereke and Anthony Walker
Linebacker No. 2 (92.4 [22 snaps, 35 percent]) and No. 6 (79.7 [40 snaps, 63 percent]), respectively.
Colts All-Pro WILL linebacker Darius Leonard normally grabs the headlines for the Colts' linebacking corps, but it was its MIKE and SAM who got the best grades on Sunday.
Although Okereke played just 22 snaps, he made them count. He totaled two tackles, and he intercepted and returned a final-minute two-point conversion attempt by the Jaguars for a score. PFF credited him with two "stops," which they consider a "failure" for the offense. Pass targets in Okereke's direction were 3-of-3, but he only allowed five yards after the catch. It was Okereke's highest grade of season, and he especially shined in coverage (92.6).
Walker made four tackles and had one pass breakup. Per PFF, he had one stop and only allowed 5.3 yards per reception. It was also his highest grade of season.
Jonathan Williams and Marlon Mack
Running Back No. 1 (91.6 [31 snaps, 46 percent]) and No. 2 (84.8 [21 snaps, 31 percent]), respectively.
Mack was on a roll in this matchup, racking up 109 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries (7.8 avg.) before exiting in the third quarter with a fractured hand. Williams then took over in the most extensive action of his career and dominated, running the ball 13 times for 116 yards (8.9 avg.) and catching one pass for 31 yards.
The Colts ran for a season-high 264 rushing yards, which was the 12th-most in franchise history and the most since Nov. 21, 2004. Williams and Mack also became just the fourth pair of running backs in franchise history to run for at least 100 yards in the same game, the first to do it since Randy McMillan and Albert Bentley on Oct. 6, 1985.
This was easily Williams' most productive day to date. He totaled five first downs, 107 yards after contact (most in the NFL among running backs), four plays of 10-plus yards (tied second-most) and forced six missed tackles (tied second-most). He set new single-game career highs in carries, rushing yards, receiving yards, all-purpose yards (147), a tie in receptions, and he had his longest career run (48) and reception (31). Per PFF:
"Williams forced six missed tackles and gained 107 yards after contact on the ground. He logged a 31-yard reception, as well."
Mack also had five first downs, five plays of 10-plus yards (most among running backs), 87 yards after contact (second) and forced five missed tackles (tied fourth-most). He also moved into a tie with Alan Ameche (seven) for the sixth-most 100-yard rushing games in franchise history.
Guard No. 1 (90.3), 67 snaps (99 percent)
Another week, another occasion in which Nelson dominates in the run game and allows no pressures of any kind in pass protection. Although he got a rock-solid 90-plus grade, it wasn't even his highest of the season. He posted a grade of 88.5 in run blocking and an 87.6 in pass pro. He also logged no penalties, being one of just nine guards in Week 11 to not allow a pressure and have no penalties.
Perhaps the highlight of the day is a play that could have been. The Colts lined Nelson up at fullback from Jacksonville's 1-yard line and ran a fullback dive. Initially called a touchdown, Nelson and the Colts' offense celebrated with one of the most entertaining celebrations we've seen (below). Unfortunately, the play was reviewed and called back, but the Colts would make up for it and score right after. Per PFF:
"The keg stand celebration was special, but Nelson put on an even better display between the whistles in Week 11. He recorded a 90.3 overall grade and an 88.5 run-blocking grade against Jacksonville while also allowing zero pressures across 31 pass-blocking snaps en route to an 87.6 pass-blocking grade."
Edge Defender No. 5 (84.5), 36 snaps (57 percent)
Like clockwork, the Colts got a sack from Houston. It was the sixth game in a row in which he's posted a sack, having seven total in that time, and a total of eight on the season. Houston had one tackle (one for loss), one sack, one stop and six total quarterback pressures. It was Houston's third-highest grade of the season, and he was one of 10 edge defenders to have at least one sack and six pressures.
Quarterback No. 3 (84.3), 66 snaps (97 percent)
Brissett was a breath of fresh air in his return after missing the last game-and-a-half with a sprained MCL in his left knee. He went 15-of-24 passing (62.5 percent) for 148 yards (6.2 YPA), with one touchdown, and a passer rating of 76.4. He was sacked three times (with one fumble) and did throw an interception, but it was off of a tipped pass downfield. Brissett also added two carries for 12 yards (6.0 avg.) and a touchdown.
The Colts offense obviously went by the beat of the running game's drum, but it allowed Brissett clear passing lanes to be efficient and distribute the ball to six different pass-catchers. He made some special plays, though, evading pressure and rolling out to his right to find Eric Ebron for a 14-yard sideline connection, as well as Marcus Johnson on a one-yard touchdown on fourth down later in the game.
Cornerback No. 9 (80.8), 29 snaps (46 percent)
This was the rookie's top-graded game of the season, but he was unfortunately banged-up with an ankle injury. He posted six tackles (one for loss), one pass breakup and his first-career interception. PFF also credited him with three stops. Targeted five times, Ya-Sin allowed three receptions (60.0 percent) for 27 yards (9.0 avg.) and no yards after the catch. He allowed a passer rating of just 35.0 in his direction, which was third best in the NFL among cornerbacks this week who were targeted at least once.
Tight End No. 3 (79.9), 29 snaps (43 percent)
The playmaking tight end caught all four of his targets, totaling 27 yards (6.8 avg.), and his toe-tapping sideline reception required a great deal of talent and concentration. This was Ebron's second-highest grade of the season, and he earned quality grades across the board: 78.1 in receiving, 73.4 in drop grade (didn't have any drops), 68.0 in fumbling (didn't have any fumbles), 70.6 in pass blocking and 60.7 in run blocking.
Center No. 3 (72.7), 66 snaps (97 percent)
Kelly allowed no pressures and had no penalties (one of nine centers to accomplish that this week) in his third-highest-graded game of the season. He was one of just nine centers to not allow any pressures and have no penalties. He earned quality grades overall, getting an 83.8 in pass protection and a 68.4 in run blocking.
Safety No. 10 (72.5), 51 snaps (81 percent)
Hooker totaled three tackles on Sunday, and was targeted twice in the passing game, both resulting in pass breakups. He showed off his signature tracking ability, but also a new level of comfortability and confidence as a tackler as he layed out Jaguars receiver Dede Westbrook in the third quarter, breaking up the pass.
Kicker No. 5 (65.3), 5 snaps (20 percent)
Vinatieri bounced back this week by converting all five of his kicks — four extra points and a 34-yard field goal. It was the first game since Week 7 in which he converted all of his kick attempts.
His field goal attempt moved him past Morten Andersen (709) into first place in NFL history in field goal attempts, and he also became the first player in franchise history to eclipse 1,500 career points.