The Indianapolis Colts have extended their winning streak to three games, as they decimated the Buffalo Bills 41-15 this past weekend. It was a dominant showing from a team that desperately needed this type of statement win.
With the All-22 film out from this past game, I decided to dive into my key observations/takeaways from the game.
1.) Jack Doyle was the Unsung Hero
Most of the talk after the game revolved around Jonathan Taylor and his historic day rushing the ball. While Taylor rightfully deserves all the praise in the world for this performance, the most underrated factor in that stat line was veteran tight end Jack Doyle.
Doyle was the key cog in the Colts' well-oiled machine on Sunday. With the Colts using a ton of wham and misdirection plays, it was often Doyle leading the way for Taylor in the run game.
He simply did whatever was asked of him in this one and had several key blocks (mostly on interior defensive linemen) that sparked big runs. He also had two big catches, both of which went for first downs.
It wasn't a game that the box score scouts would love from Doyle, but he was a vital part of the Colts' dominating offensive performance.
2.) Big Grove Does It Again
I probably praise Grover Stewart too much in this series... but I am going to do it again this week. Stewart had yet another dominant performance this week, totaling three stops in the run game, one hurry, and a pass deflection.
Stewart is an elite run defender, and he simply shut down the Bills' zone-running game. He was too fast and too strong to be moved by any interior player for the Bills in this one.
For the year, Stewart is tied for 9th among interior defensive linemen in run stops with 17 (among players with 80% of run down snaps played). He continues to produce, and he is a big reason why the Colts are so good at stopping the run.
3.) Rock Ya-Sin's Career Best Game?
Rock Ya-Sin has been straight up balling out of late. After allowing zero receptions on three targets against the Jacksonville Jaguars, he allowed just two catches on four targets (for just 13 yards) in this game. He did allow a touchdown in coverage, but that play was simply a perfect throw and catch by an elite QB-WR duo.
Ya-Sin was mostly lined up in press-man coverage in this game. He did a great job of stymieing receivers at the point of attack, and then staying square on each route. There was very little separation for Josh Allen to attack on the outside in this one.
Over the past two weeks, Ya-Sin has allowed just 13 yards in coverage on 74 pass coverage snaps. That is simply phenomenal, and it is a testament to how far the young corner has come this year.
4.) Bully Ball From the Colts' Offensive Line
The Colts came out in this game and punched the Bills in the mouth in every facet. The Colts' offensive led the charge by simply decimating the Bills' defensive line and linebackers at the point of attack.
Ryan Kelly's block in the first clip set the tone for the entire game. The offensive line was crushing this Bills' defense, and the result was Jonathan Taylor running wild for a career-best game.
5.) DeForest Buckner is Back to Dominating
There was some talk early in the season about DeForest Buckner not living up to his massive contract. While it may seem a bit ludicrous, the production simply wasn't there for the All-Pro early in the year.
He seems to be back to his dominating self as of late, though. Over the span of this three-game winning streak for the Colts, Buckner is fourth among all interior defensive linemen in hurries (8), second in QB hits (3), and fourth in sacks (2).
The Colts' pass rush has hit a surge the past few weeks, and Buckner is a large part of that. Hopefully he can continue this stellar play down the last half of the season.
6.) Play of the Game: Odum's Interception
For years now, fans (and analysts like myself) have clamored for safety George Odum to see more snaps on defense. With injuries to both starters, Odum finally had his chance in the starting lineup again.
What did he do with this opportunity? Made a big-time play, like he always seems to do. The play of the game this week came on a third and 18 on the Bills first offensive drive of the day.
Ya-Sin does an excellent job of walling off his receiver at the bottom of the screen, which gives Odum the necessary time to work over the top and jump the route for the pick. The Colts would go down to score on the next drive, essentially giving the team a commanding lead early.
7.) Play-Call of the Week: Throwback to Jonathan Taylor
This may go down as the play-call of the year for the Colts so far.
This is simply a gorgeous design to get the ball into Jonathan Taylor's hands in space. The Colts use Nyheim Hines in motion to draw the linebackers to the opposite side of the field. A nice little wrinkle is having Quenton Nelson pull that way too, which throws off what the linebackers are reading.
The play ends up being a play-action with Taylor leaking to the backside of the play, away from the Hines motion. Taylor is wide open in the flats, and he is able to scoot into the endzone for the score.
Follow Zach on Twitter @ZachHicks2.