The Colts followed up their loss at New England by defending their home field and bringing their home record to 5-1. It was a a great team win, with a multitude of players to pick from (unlike last week).
After the jump, check out six players who I think deserve a spotlight for their effort this week.
Castonzo had an inconsistent start to the season, but has been fantastic for the last three weeks. To put this in perspective, Castonzo averaged just over four pressures per game during the first nine weeks, but has only allowed one sack, one hit, and two hurries throughout the last three weeks. This is the third week in a row that Castonzo has had a top 10 tackle grade from PFF, as he has been consistent in both run and pass blocking.
Any time you account for all of the team's touchdowns in a game, you have a pretty good shot at getting on this list. Hilton's come on in recent weeks, catching at least three passes for at least 30 yards in a all but three games this season. Last week he came up big with 100 yards, and this week he finished with a great touchdown catch, and 18-yard catch on 3rd and 11, and an electric punt return.
Wayne has been consistent all season, and Sunday was an perfect picture of that. It was Wayne's 59th consecutive game with at least three catches, a new NFL record. He's had at least seventy yards in every game this season, but Sunday was just his third 100-yard game. He leads the league in catches, and is second only to Megatron in yards. The fact that he continues to do this on a weekly basis is staggering.
Dwight Freeney/Robert Mathis
It may have been difficult to tell from the box score, as the two managed just one sack between them, but this was the two's best game together. Ryan Fitzpatrick has one of the shorter snap-to-throw times in the league, and the two still combined for 11 quarterback pressures. Both players had the top two pass rushing grades for 3-4 OLBs for the week.
Freeman has been one of the most surprisingly solid players on the year, and Sunday was his best game yet. My personal player of the game, Freeman finished with 16 tackles and eight defensive stops. Freeman was solid in coverage as well, helping to limit the Bills' explosive running backs to just two catches for four yards.
Freeman -----WoW great week! Ballard third down conversion was studlike'' Brown continues to play his way onto being used in a limited way--when blocking does not count, or tough yards inside don't matter.
Did Angerer play? I don't recall seeing him on the field - or at least he was never referred to in terms of a tackle or big play.
@buymymonkey Angerer was in for 18 snaps, though he didn't make much of an impact. He was targeted twice in pass coverage allowing 1 reception for 1 yard. Beyond that he didn't really register on the stat sheet. His PFF grade was more or less neutral.
Very good information regarding Mathis and Freeney. During the game, it appeared to me like they were consistently creating pressure on Fitzpatrick. I like to see that my eyes weren't deceiving me.
I also like to see that Castonzo is really shaping up to be a good tackle for the future.
Thanks for taking the time to look this stuff up, Kyle.
@bradicus18 No problemo.
I've been encouraged so much by Castonzo's last 3/4 games. He was horrible against TN, but he's been a stud since.
Good to see that the film verified my gut that Castonzo played well. (Although it was hard to tell with the sieve that was the rest of the o-line.)
Top 2012 NFL front office decisions:
(1) John Elway and the Denver Broncos bringing in P-Money.
(2) ChuckStrong telling Reggie he needed him, and the Colts front office signing him to stay.
(Both players in 2011 looking like their careers might be over.)