INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts suffered a tough loss to the AFC South division rival Houston Texans last week, falling 20-17 on Thursday Night Football.
Despite the loss, the Colts had some bright spots, including another dominating performance on the ground, totaling 175 yards rushing on offense. With that solid of a performance, Pro Football Focus recognized several of the Colts' players, especially in the run game. That goes especially for left guard Quenton Nelson, who is making his FIFTH appearance of the 2019 regular season on PFF's "NFL Team of the Week."
In order of highest grade first, here are the Colts players who earned top-10 grades at their respective positions on Sunday:
Quenton Nelson and Mark Glowinski
Guard No. 1 (87.5 [67 snaps, 100 percent]) and No. 7 (80.4 [67 snaps, 100 percent]), respectively.
Another dominant performance by Nelson; he allowed no pressures of any kind in pass protection and was not dinged for any penalties. He recorded an 83.2 pass-blocking grade (12th among all guards) and an 82.1 in run blocking (first). Per PFF:
"Second-year guard Quenton Nelson turned in another fantastic performance to improve on what has already been a strong year for the Notre Dame product. He earned high marks as a run-blocker and should finish reviews with zero pressures allowed."
"...Nelson is a frequent flyer in PFF's weekly Team of the Week articles. The second-year Notre Dame product is on pace for one of the best two-year starts we at PFF have ever seen from a guard. Against the Texans on Thursday, Nelson earned a position-high 87.5 overall grade and allowed zero total pressures across 31 pass-blocking snaps."
Nelson's right-side partner in crime, Glowinski, also allowed no pressures in the contest, although he was dinged for one holding penalty. He has an 88.4 pass-blocking grade (fourth) and a 73.4 in run blocking (11th).
Both players played a huge role in the Colts' performance on the ground, as the team totaled 175 yards on 39 carries (4.5 avg.) and two touchdowns. Starting running back Jonathan Williams also eclipsed 100 yards for the second week in a row.
Linebacker No. 8 (81.4), 59 snaps (100 percent)
The Colts' defensive heartbeat had another standout performance against Houston. Leonard had six tackles, which are fewer than his weekly average, but he made plays in other areas. He pressured Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson on multiple occasions, and was officially credited with two hurries, while PFF also credited Leonard with two "stops," which they consider to be a "failure" by the offense. He forced a late fumble on Watson, which he also appeared to recover, but the play was not officially reviewed. It was just the latest in a long line of big plays Leonard has made late in a game when his team needed one.
Running Back No. 4 (79.8), 45 snaps (67 percent)
In his first-career start, Williams was PFF's fourth-graded running back. He shouldered a huge workload, totaling 26 carries for 104 yards (4.0 avg.) and a touchdown as well as catching all three targets for 17 yards (5.7 avg.) On his 29 touches, Williams had seven first downs, three plays of at least 10 yards, eight missed tackles forced, and 79 rushing yards after contact (3.04 avg.). Per PFF:
"Jonathan Williams was a bright spot for the Colts in this one. A fifth-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, Williams forced over five missed tackles and gained more than half of his yards after contact. He's an elusive back Indy should lean on for as long as Marlon Mack is sidelined."
Jack Doyle and Eric Ebron
Tight End No. 5 (76.4 [46 snaps, 69 percent]) and No. 6 (73.3 [29 snaps, 43 percent]), respectively.
It was a solid outing for the Colts' starting tight ends, as Doyle and Ebron finished as PFF's No. and No. 6 tight ends, respectively. Doyle caught 3-of-4 targets for 28 yards (9.3 avg.) and had one first down. Ebron led the Colts in receiving, catching 4-of-5 targets for 44 yards (11.0 avg.) and three first downs. Neither of the pair had any drops, and quarterback Jacoby Brissett averaged a passer rating of 104.5 when targeting his tight ends.
Unfortunately for the Colts, it would be the last game this season in which both players would be on the field, as Ebron was placed on injured reserve on Monday due to reported issues with his ankles.
Punter No. 7 (64.1), 12 snaps (50 percent)
Sanchez has become a mainstay near the top of the weekly punter grades, and last Thursday was no different. He punted five times for an average of 47.8 average and a net of 43.2 (long of 52 yards). None of the five kicks resulted in touchbacks, and three were downed inside Houston's 20-yard line. Two of his punts were returned for a total of 23 yards (11.5 avg.), being only the fourth time this season an opponent has had more than 10 punt return yards against Sanchez and the Colts this season. Sanchez also booted three kickoffs, all resulting in touchbacks.