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Film Room: Ranking the Top Ten Plays By a Colts' Defensive Back This Season

With the Colts in the middle of their bye week, Jonathan Hagler and I broke down the top ten plays by Colts' defensive backs this season.
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Throughout the season, I have co-hosted a weekly YouTube show that breaks down the Colts' defensive backs on a weekly basis. With this past game being a bit of a slug-fest, I decided to change it up a bit for this week's show.

I asked my co-host, Jonathan Hagler, to rank what I saw as the top ten plays by Colts' defensive backs on the season. He ranked them based off of overall skill and technique, while also taking into account who the defensive back was lining up against on the play.

The ranking that I will go over in this article is completely his, as mine would have the number one and two plays flipped. Any analysis that is written in bold is from Hag's breakdown on the YouTube episode.

If you would like to watch the full episode that was recorded last night, click here or click into the video at the bottom of the article.

Number 10: Rock Punch Out

Coming in at number ten on this countdown is Rock Ya-Sin's forced fumble against the Tennessee Titans back in week three. This play would rank higher, but it isn't the cleanest rep by Ya-Sin to say the least.

Ya-Sin is beat cleanly off of the line of scrimmage, but it is all about the finish on this play. He circles back on the receiver and is able to rip it out for the huge turnover. One of our motto's on the show is finish the play, and Ya-Sin does that perfectly here.

It's about how you finish and he eventually got the recovery, but compared to the other plays, it just wasn't the splash in the pan.

Number 9: Teach Tape From Rock

This one does sadden me a bit that it was so low on the list, but I do completely get it. While it wasn't a flashy interception or an elite break on the ball, this is exactly what a cornerback is taught to do when they are in this situation.

Ya-Sin jams his receiver off of the line of scrimmage ad pinches the wideout to the sideline. Once the ball is thrown, he doesn't panic whatsoever. He sits in the back-pocket, waits for the ball to arrive, and calmly separates the receiver from the ball.

This is the play that showed that Ya-Sin was taking that next step as a player. In the last four games, including this one, he has allowed just three catches on 10 targets for just 22 yards.

He didn't panic, and he didn't get a flag. He played through the hands. There wasn't anything wrong with this play, I love the play (I would probably say this is teach-tape), I just think some of the others on the list were a little more impressive.

Number 8: George Odum's Interception

Coming in at number eight is a high-level play by two players in the secondary for the Colts.

The first standout player is Ya-Sin, as he locks his man up at the bottom of the screen. The Buffalo Bills are facing a third-and-long and Ya-Sin knows he has to play the sticks. He wins the rep by running the route for the receiver and takes the receiver out of the play.

The other player to highlight is George Odum, as he comes away with his first interception of the year. He made a great jump on this pass, and undercuts the throw for game-changing play.

Rock didn't fall for the head-fake at all and cut it off underneath. It was a great play by both of them and we saw the end result.

7.) Kenny Moore II Running the Receiver's Route

Coming in at number seven is the first play featuring star corner Kenny Moore II. This is just a phenomenal recovery on a play where his technique was poor to start out.

Moore II gets caught lunging at the break, and the receiver is able to free himself a bit on the wheel. Moore II's recovery is simply elite on this play, though, as he gets in phase and runs the route for the receiver. This is simply an incredible play that took away what would be an easy completion against anybody else.

He ran the route.. That was so smooth. There was no hitch, there was no panic. He just flowed with it and ran the route better than the receiver.

6.) Kenny Does Kenny Things

Keeping with the trend of praising Moore II, this play against the Houston Texans from this past weekend was absurd as well.

He is zone coverage off of the play-action pass, and follows his nearest receiver to the flat. Moore II continues to get depth, but smartly settles in the correct zone as he nears the sideline. As soon as the ball leaves Tyrod Taylor's hand, Moore II is able to jump the pass for the interception.

I love how he settled. I've been watching a ton of college DB's in the last week or so. A lot of zone-droppers get a little too high right there and never settle. Kenny right here gets his depth and then he settles so he can break.

5.) Rhodes Redemption

Kicking off the top five is this phenomenal interception by Xavier Rhodes against the San Fransisco 49ers.

It has been a challenging season for the veteran cornerback, but he made an incredible splash play here to essentially put this game away. Matched up with Deebo Samuel, Rhodes won the rep in press-man and then took the ball away for the interception.

There was so much effort, the time in the game, who it was against... all that went into consideration. Who he was up against played a part for me and this is a great play.

4.) Isaiah Rodgers' First Career Pick

Could this list be complete without a few plays from the breakout corner of the year? Coming in at number four is the first career interception from Isaiah Rodgers.

This was just a crazy, athletic play that most players can't make. He pinches the receiver to the sideline before getting depth up-field. As the ball is thrown, Rodgers turns into the receiver. He lunges for the ball and makes an acrobatic interception late in the game.

It's super impressive just because of who it is against and that he had the awareness to get his head around and go get the ball. There is nothing sweet about playing corner, you need to be ready to go make a play on the ball.

3.) Julian Blackmon's Forced Fumble

Coming in at number three is a bittersweet moment, as it features Julian Blackmon just weeks before his season-ending achilles injury.

This play was huge back in week four, and it put the Colts in the driver seat to win this game against the Baltimore Ravens (which they proceeded to blow but I digress). Blackmon reads the option play well and is able to wrap up Lamar Jackson in the backfield. He punches the ball free as Jackson goes down, and the Colts get the big-time recovery.

If the return would have counted, this play likely ends up at number one.

This play is up here because it was in the redzone and it was Lamar Jackson. As a defensive player, if you get the ball back in the redzone, that is gold. You could have just saved the game with that play. This was just a huge play for me because I respected it so much.

2.) Kenny's Insane Awareness

Coming in at number two on Hag's list is this elite play by Moore II. This was personally my top play of the year for the Colts, by any player on the team.

The awareness and anticipation it takes to make this play is simply elite. Moore II is in man-coverage with A.J Brown over the middle. As he is carrying Brown vertically, he notices that the Titans are running a backside dig route. He knows they like to hit that route, so he peels off his man and jumps the throwing lane.

The risk pays off and nearly returns the interception for a score.

That is a freaky, freaky play. It's crazy because he is peaking. Just crazy, man.

1.) Isaiah Rodgers Does it Again

Coming in as the top play by a defensive back so far this season is Isaiah Rodgers picking off Tom Brady.

This play is crazy from start to finish. Rodgers is lined up against Scotty Miller, who is one of the faster receivers in the league. Rodgers doesn't panic whatsoever, stays in phase, and then tracks the ball like a center-fielder over his shoulder for the interception.

You got Isaiah Rodgers doing freaky stuff again. If you go to the end of this play, 99% of DBs are falling. If this were a receiver making this play, it would be all over ESPN. He ran the route and adjusted to the ball. Just insane body control and field awareness.


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