Colts report card: Grading Indy in the 31-3 win over Texans

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The Indianapolis Colts (2-4) got back in the win column with a dominating victory over the Houston Texans (1-5) at Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday.

It was a totally complete win from all three phases and easily the best showing of the season for the Colts. Taking into account the competition is important, of course, but this is the type of game we expected to see from the Colts before they had so many question marks.

Before we look onto their next prime-time matchup, here’s how we graded the Colts in the Week 6 win:

Quarterback

Syndication: The Indianapolis Star

According to NBA Jam rules, Carson Wentz is officially on fire. This is the third game in a row that he’s shown improvement. The Texans defense is awful. That’s true. But Wentz dominated them with only 20 pass attempts. There were a few throws he’d like to have back and he took another sack when he should have thrown it away. But averaging 11.15 yards per attempt and 20.3 yards per completion shows just how easily they were able to move the ball in the air.

Grade: B+

Running Back

Syndication: The Indianapolis Star

At first, this looked like a dud game from the backfield. None of the rushers were getting much play in the first half. Then Jonathan Taylor exploded for a ridiculous second half. After seeing just two carries during the first two quarters, Taylor finished the game with 14 carries for 145 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns. It was big run after big run for the second-year back, and he showed he has what it takes to take over a game.

Grade: A

Wide Receiver

AP Photo/Zach Bolinger

T.Y. Hilton came back triumphantly to lead the offense in receptions and yards before he exited with a quad injury. Michael Pittman Jr. saw just three targets but averaged 17.5 yards per catch while Parris Campbell brought in a 51-yard touchdown pass before seeing his season evaporate due to a foot injury. A solid showing for the wide receivers, but questions remain about the depth as injuries hit the room.

Grade: B+

Tight End

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Jack Doyle may be leading the room in snaps but Mo Alie-Cox is making the impact plays. The 6-foot-5 tight end had a drop in the endzone before making up for it by snatching a touchdown pass from Wentz on a scissor concept. Both players helped open lanes in the run game, too, so it was a solid effort from the tight end room.

Grade: B

Offensive Line

AP Photo/Zach Bolinger

The offensive line was solid against a poor Texans pass rush. There are still concerns with Eric Fisher getting his feet underneath him as a pass protector while Matt Pryor has firmly entrenched himself as the backup right tackle and spot starter as long as Braden Smith is out. It’s hard to complain about this unit when the offense moved the ball so efficiently.

Grade: B+

Defensive Line

AP Photo/Zach Bolinger

DeForest Buckner, Al-Quadin Muhammad and Tyquan Lewis all recorded three pressures a piece, per Pro Football Focus, while Grover Stewart was plugging gaps all day. The defensive line did enough to make rookie Davis Mills uncomfortable, but we’re still waiting on a dominating performance from anyone on this front.

Grade: B+

Linebacker

AP Photo/Zach Bolinger

Despite being clearly limited by the ankle injury, Darius Leonard put his contract to the test. The Texans made it clear they were going to try to get in his head but it didn’t work. The Maniac had seven tackles (five solo), an intercpetion, forced fumble and fumble recovery to go along with a quarterback hit. This is the Maniac performance the Colts paid for.

Grade: A

Cornerback

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The secondary essentially played a heavy-zone script and allowed the Texans to take the easy short throws in front of them. It worked this week. Isaiah Rodgers stepped up in a big way with a pass defended in the end zone and a beautiful diving interception, both of which came when covering Brandin Cooks. Xavier Rhodes needs to be better on third down while Kenny Moore continues to be the best player in the secondary.

Grade: B

Safety

AP Photo/Zach Bolinger

Both Julian Blackmon and Khari Willis made impact plays on Sunday. Blackmon nearly killed Phillip Lindsay on a tackle for loss in which he taught a lesson on laying wood. Willis recorded a sack as a blitzer wrapping around the left side of the offensive line. It was a solid day for the safeties.

Grade: A

Special Teams

Syndication: The Indianapolis Star

Michael Badgley made his only field-goal attempt from 41 yards while converting all four of his extra-point attempts while replacing the injured Rodrigo Blankenship. Rigoberto Sanchez downed two of his five punts inside the 20-yard line with another at the 21. He recorded no touchbacks again. Ashton Dulin averaged 29 yards per return on his two kick return opportunities.

Grade: A

Overall

Syndication: The Indianapolis Star

This was a completely dominating win against an opponent the Colts should have dominated. You can only do so much about the opponent, and the Colts showed they can still beat up on bad teams. The offense is finding its groove and getting healthier while some of the play-makers on defense are beginning to show up. All in all, it’s hard to knock much of anything from this win.

Grade: A

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