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Colts' Youth Earns High Week 13 Grades From Pro Football Focus

The Indianapolis Colts controlled the first half of Week 13's contest against the Tennessee Titans, but things got away from them in the second half in a 31-17 loss at Lucas Oil Stadium. Despite the loss, several Colts players had quality performances, ranking near the top of their positional groups, according to Pro Football Focus.


INDIANAPOLIS — It was a gut-wrenching loss for the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday at home against the Tennessee Titans, as Indy controlled the game from the start — leading by as many as 10 points, 17-7 — before Tennessee came roaring back with a 24-0 run the rest of the way, handing the Colts their sixth loss of the season, 31-17, at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The outcome, however, doesn't erase the half of quality football that Colts played and the standout individual performances throughout the contest. Pro Football Focus noticed this, listing several Colts player near the top of their positional rankings for Week 13.

In order of highest grade first, here are the Colts players who earned top-10 grades at their respective positions on Sunday:

Zach Pascal

Wide Receiver No. 10 (82.1), 72 snaps (100 percent)

It's not often you see a wide receiver not named T.Y. Hilton play 100 percent of the offensive snaps for the Colts, but Pascal has been a rock for this team considering the injury issues they've had at the position. Pascal had the most fruitful day of his career on Sunday, posting new single-game career highs in receptions (seven) and receiving yards (109). All seven of Pascal's catches resulted in first downs, and he totaled four "chunk plays," which the Colts consider to be passing plays netting 16 yards or more. He also had an impressive 49 yards after the catch, which was tied for second in the NFL this week among teams' primary receiver. Per PFF:

"Pascal showed nice rapport with Brissett, as the duo connected on a variety of routes. All seven of his catches resulted in first downs."

Braden Smith

Offensive Tackle No. 7 (81.2), 72 snaps (100 percent)

It's usually Smith's run blocking that earns him high grades with PFF, but he was very well-balanced against the Titans, getting an 81.4 in pass blocking and a 77.7 in run blocking. He was credited with allowing just one pressure on the quarterback, and had no penalties. Quarterback Jacoby Brissett was sacked three times in the game, but the majority of the pressures appeared to be coming from the middle or from extra rushers coming on blitzes.

Al-Quadin Muhammad

Edge Defender Tied-No. 8 (79.9), 27 snaps (45 percent)

One of the unsung heroes of the Colts' defensive front, Muhammad put together another solid outing on Sunday. Of the seven NFL edge defenders who received better overall defensive grades, none had a better run-defense grade than Muhammad's 75.9. Along with being credited for one quarterback pressure, he also had three tackles and two "stops," which PFF considers a "failure" for the offense. Muhammad was part of a group that harassed Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill all day, sacking him six times.

Bobby Okereke

Linebacker No. 9 (78.2), 29 snaps (48 percent)

As the Colts' SAM linebacker, Okereke doesn't play as much as his WILL and MIKE counterparts, but it's common for him to have a high-quality PFF grade despite the limited snaps. Against Tennessee, he had three tackles and a sack, the latter of which resulting in a fumble that was recovered by Colts defensive end Justin Houston. Okereke's 91.2 pass-rush grade was far higher than the eight other linebackers who graded above him, and the two receptions he allowed netted negative-two yards for the offense.

Quenton Nelson

Guard No. 7 (76.5), 72 snaps (100 percent)

Nelson was outstanding as a pass protector on Sunday, receiving a grade of 90.0, which was highest among all NFL guards. He allowed zero pressures, but he was called for just his second penalty of the season. He was one of just 11 NFL guards to allow zero pressures.

The Colts missed their mark as an offense on the ground, totaling just 82 yards on 24 carries (3.4 avg.), but their two leading rushers both had solid days thanks to Nelson and the line. Jordan Wilkins led the team with 47 yards on 11 carries (4.3 avg.), and Nyheim Hines has four carries for 22 yards (5.5 avg.) and had a rushing touchdown for the second time in the last three games.

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