Colts Running Back Jonathan Taylor Makes Debut on PFF’s ‘NFL Team of the Week’

The Indianapolis Colts were trailing and turned to rookie running back Jonathan Taylor to steady the offense in a comeback win over Green Bay. Taylor delivered enough to earn props from Pro Football Focus.
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INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts rallied from a 14-point halftime deficit for a huge 34-31 overtime win over the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.

In the second half, the offense put up points, the defense shut down Green Bay’s high-powered offense, and special teams made clutch plays.

The Colts completed a sweep of the NFC North Division, and as a result, had several players recognized by Pro Football Focus, including rookie running back Jonathan Taylor making his debut on the “NFL Week 11 Team of the Week.

Indianapolis Colts rookie running back Jonathan Taylor looks for space in Sunday's overtime home win over the Green Bay Packers.

Running back Jonathan Taylor rushed for 90 yards Sunday, which would have been over 100 if not for penalties negating several gains.

Here are the Colts players who PFF ranked in the top 10 of their position in Week 11.

Cassius Marsh, Jordan Glasgow

Special teamer No. 3 (90.4), 16 ST snaps (52%) | Special teamer No. 7 (82.9), 24 ST snaps (77%)

Marsh: 1 tackle, 1 forced fumble

Glasgow: 1 tackle

Marsh and Glasgow were a big part of special-teams coverage being on point.

Each had a tackle, and Marsh forced a key fumble that the Colts recovered on a kickoff. The Colts had tied the game at 28, when Marsh punched the ball out of the returner’s grasp. The turnover led to a field goal and the Colts’ first lead.

Philip Rivers

Quarterback No. 4 (88.4), 77 snaps (92%)

24-of-36 passing (66.7%), 288 yards (8 YPA), 3 TD, 1 INT, 1 sack, 107.2 passer rating, 1 carry, -1 yard

This game was an example of why the Colts signed Rivers in the offseason. The 17th-year veteran went toe-to-toe with Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and won.

With the Colts run game clicking, it allowed Rivers to make plays with play-action. He had the second-best passer rating among all NFL quarterbacks in Week 11 off play-action, completing 6-of-8 attempts (75%) for 85 yards (10.6 YPA) and a touchdown.

He did throw an interception, but it was tipped at the line of scrimmage. He had a very productive, efficient day as he completed over 65% of his passes with a YPA over 7.5.

DeForest Buckner

Defensive lineman No. 5 (86.7), 55 snaps (92%)

2 tackles, 1 fumble recovery

The stat sheet only shows two tackles and a fumble recovery, but the film shows more.

Buckner was a beast yet again, putting three pressures on Rodgers, and forcing him into quicker throws than he maybe would’ve liked.

It was the seventh game this season in which Buckner has had at least three pressures on the quarterback.

Jonathan Taylor

Running back No. 1 (84.4), 47 snaps (56%)

22 carries, 90 yards (4.1 avg.), 4 receptions (4 targets), 24 yards (6 avg.)

We’ve been harping on the Colts to get Taylor “back on the horse,” and they finally did it.

For the first time in several weeks, Taylor was fed the ball and good things happened. Imagine what his numbers would’ve looked like if not for all the big pickups negated by penalties, including a 20-yard TD run.

Taylor was a tough runner against a vulnerable Packers defense, finding the cutback lanes and keeping his legs moving and breaking tackles. He is starting to create more of his own extra yards.

Guys like Justin Herbert, Justin Jefferson ,and Chase Claypool are certainly leading the Offensive Rookie of the Year discussion, but with Cincinnati quarterback Joe Burrow suffering a season-ending injury and Miami quarterback Tua Tagovailoa being benched due to performance, perhaps a late-season push by Taylor could insert him into the mix.

Anthony Walker

Linebacker No. 7 (82.2), 25 snaps (42%)

2 tackles

Sunday was the fewest snaps Walker has played this year, but it was his best game, according to PFF.

Although he had just two tackles, it appears to be what Walker did in coverage that made the biggest impression. He was targeted only once, allowing three yards on the reception and just two yards after the catch, earning a coverage grade of 78. He was also credited with one “stop,” which is a forced failure against the offense.

Kenny Moore II

Cornerback No. 7 (82.1), 60 snaps (100%)

10 tackles

Moore tied a single-game career-high with 10 tackles, all of which were solos. PFF also credited him with three stops.

Moore was targeted in coverage eight times, allowing six receptions, but for just 32 yards (5.3 avg.). He received a solid grade of 81.7 in coverage.

Anthony Castonzo

Offensive tackle No. 6 (77.1), 84 snaps (100%)

While things were rocky on the right edge of the offensive line, Castonzo had the left side locked down. He allowed only one pressure and had an outstanding pass protection grade of 88.4, which ranked tied for first among all NFL offensive linemen.

When running behind or outside Castonzo, the Colts accumulated 41 yards on eight carries (5.1 avg.), including one first down and one run of 10-plus yards.

Nyheim Hines

Running back No. 7 (76.3), 28 snaps (33%)

6 carries, 2 yards (0.3 avg.), 3 receptions (4 targets), 31 yards (10.3), 1 two-point conversion. 2 punt returns, 9 yards (4.5 avg.)

Hines has been a star these last few weeks, and he kept it up despite not carrying the load. This time, he was a very valuable pass-catcher, and he did run in a two-point conversion.

Hines had the best receiving grade (88.2) among all NFL running backs, averaging 6.7 yards after catch and picking up two first downs.

Tremon Smith

Kick returner No. 6 (62.2), 24 ST snaps (77%)

1 tackle. 3 kickoff returns, 73 yards (24.3 avg.)

Smith had a special teams coverage tackle as well as a hand in the fumble forced on the kickoff, but he was credited here with a quality day as a return specialist.

On his three returns, he found a nice crease on two of them, averaging 24.3 yards per return. He had the third-most kickoff return yards in the NFL.

Rigoberto Sanchez

Punter Tied-No. 9 (60.9), 17 snaps (55%)

2 punts, 35.5 avg., two inside-20

“Rigo” only just two punts, but both were downed inside the Packers’ 20-yard line. His second kick, especially, was gorgeous.

On a drive near the end of the game when the Colts were up by three points and attempting to run out the clock, an inordinate amount of penalties forced a punt. Sanchez sent the ball perfectly into the air, and it hit the turf and popped up, being downed at the Green Bay six-yard line. The Packers did get their field goal to tie the game on the drive, but Sanchez’s punt was ideal in that situation.

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