INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts lost a hard-fought battle to the visiting Oakland Raiders on Sunday, 31-24.
They attempted to keep up and make a surge at a late comeback, but the Raiders — as well as some untimely, uncharacteristic self-inflicted wounds by the Colts — were simply too much to overcome in this one.
Despite the loss, some of the Colts' players stuck out enough to Pro Football Focus to rank among the best at their position for Week 4. In fact, left guard Quenton Nelson made his latest appearance on PFF's "Week 4 NFL Team of the Week."
In order of highest grade first, here are the Colts players who earned top-10 grades at their position on Sunday:
Guard No. 2 (83.6), 78 snaps (100 percent)
Sunday was Nelson's highest-graded game of the young season. The Colts had their most pass attempts on the season on Sunday as Nelson and his linemates were credited with 54 pass blocking snaps, and Nelson stayed strong. His three allowed quarterback pressures were all just hurries, not allowing quarterback Jacoby Brissett to get hit or sacked. In the run game, Colts backs running behind Nelson yielded the highest yards per carry (5.0 avg) on the team. Per PFF:
"It wasn't a great day for the Colts, but Nelson had another impressive game at left guard, continuing what has been an impressive second season in the NFL so far. He allowed three hurries, with no sacks or hits, from 54 pass-blocking snaps and earned an 83.1 PFF run-blocking grade for his work in the ground game."
Safety No. 10 (79.2), 67 snaps (100 percent)
Geathers was one of four Colts to play all 67 defensive snaps on Sunday, and it resulted in a season-high nine tackles. He received an outstanding grade in tackling (87.0), as he wasn't dinged for any missed tackles and forced three "stops," which constitutes a failed offensive play, according to PFF. Pass catchers caught all three targets in Geathers' zone, but he limited those to just 5.3 yards per reception.
The veteran safety played a strong role as the defense's last line of defense, but now his status for this Sunday's Week 5 matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs is up in the air as Geathers was placed in the league's concussion protocol after experiencing symptoms after the Raiders game, according to head coach Frank Reich.
Offensive Tackle No. 6 (75.9), 78 snaps (100 percent)
The Colts' veteran blind side protector had the next best offensive grade after Nelson, also allowing only three hurries on 54 pass blocking reps. PFF didn't chart any rushing attempts specifically off the left tackle, but it's safe to think rushing success behind the left guard (like in Nelson's case) was aided by the left tackle's performance. Castonzo and his linemates did their part in the Colts' comeback attempt when it came to pass protection, as the Colts kept Brissett unharmed on the day with zero sacks.
Punter No. 7 (67.5), 14 snaps (47 percent)
Sanchez punted four times on Sunday for an average of 46.5 yards per punt, a net of 45.5 per punt and a long of 55 yards. Two of the four kicks landed inside Oakland's 20-yard line. Only two of the four punts were fielded by the return man for just four yards total, and the other two were fair caught.