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Colts PFF Week 3 Grades vs. Chiefs: OL Makes Surprise Showing

While it seemed as if Matt Ryan was running for his life at the time, the Colts had a trio of their offensive line grade out in the top ten.

The Indianapolis Colts are on the board.

The Colts pulled off the upset in front of a sold-out crowd at Lucas Oil Stadium by taking down the Kansas City Chiefs 20-17. The come-from-behind win marked the first for the Colts this season, bringing their record to 1-1-1.

“Great team win,” head coach Frank Reich said after the game. “What we were talking about in (the locker room) a minute ago was just the ultimate team win in all three phases. We've said kind of coming into this year, that's the kind of team we feel like we have, that we can be good in all three phases. That's what it takes to beat a team like the Kansas City Chiefs, and that's what we got today.”

Defense and special teams carried the Colts for most of the day, making big plays and not allowing Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs to run away with the game. The offense pulled through in the end, orchestrating a 16-play drive that ended with a Matt Ryan touchdown pass to Jelani Woods with 24 seconds remaining. The defense then sealed the victory when Rodney McLeod intercepted a Mahomes pass that was tipped by Stephon Gilmore.

As they do every week, Pro Football Focus graded each player’s performance on Sunday. Considering how the game went on Sunday, some surprise Colts made the top ten for their position in Week 3. Let’s look at the players PFF felt did the best among their position groups.

Indianapolis Colts Pro Bowl center Ryan Kelly is entering a contract year, but negotiations have already begun on a new deal.

Ryan Kelly – C No. 4

72.1 overall, 75.0 run blocking, 58.4 pass blocking

While Kelly has caught some flak from fans for his play to begin the year, PFF has him as one of the best centers in football to begin the year. Kelly ranks as the fifth overall center in the NFL over the first three weeks and had another good showing on Sunday.

Kelly comes in as the fourth-best center from Week 3 with an overall grade of 72.1. His run blocking grade of 75.0 also ranked fourth among centers as he cleared holes for Jonathan Taylor.

Where Kelly struggled on Sunday was pass protection. His 58.4 pass blocking grade ranks 23rd among centers, as Kelly gave up zero sacks, one QB hit, one QB hurry, and two pressures. The drop in pass protection has been a theme of the entire Colts’ offensive line all season long.

Compared to the rest of the league, Kelly is playing like one of the best centers in the NFL. For an offensive line that is struggling early, the Colts desperately need Kelly to continue playing at a high level.

Sep 25, 2022; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indianapolis Colts place kicker Chase McLaughlin (7) follows through on a filed goal kick during a game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Mandatory Credit: Jenna Watson/IndyStar Staff-USA TODAY Sports

Chase McLaughlin – K No. 5

70.7 field goals, 60.0 kickoff

After the Colts cut Rodrigo Blankenship for his Week 1 performance, they signed McLaughlin to the practice squad in hopes he would help give them stability at kicker for 2022. Unfortunately, he did not get a chance to showcase what he could do as the Colts were shut out by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

McLaughlin did, however, get a chance to prove himself on Sunday. McLaughlin was a perfect 2-for-2 on extra points and 2-for-2 on field goal attempts in the Colts’ win. His field goal attempts were from 43 and 51 yards, and McLaughlin knocked them both in with ease.

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Accuracy from distance was the biggest issue that Blankenship faced. With McLaughlin, the hope is that he can continue to kick well and give the Colts a kicker they can trust moving forward.

Matt Pryor via IMAGN

Matt Pryor – OT No. 6

77.6 overall, 68.7 run blocking, 83.7 pass blocking

Pryor has been one of the most scrutinized players on the offensive line so far in 2022, and for good reason. Pryor has struggled against speed rushers throughout the first three weeks at left tackle and has caused a lot of pressure to get through to Ryan. He ranks 31st among offensive tackles so far in 2022.

Sunday saw Pryor turn things around to an extent. His 77.6 overall grade ranked sixth among offensive tackles, while his pass blocking grade of 83.7 ranked fifth. Pryor was credited with giving up zero sacks, only one QB hurry, and one pressure against the Chiefs.

As a converted guard, Pryor usually does his best work in the running game.. However, he struggled in this area as his 68.7 run blocking grade only ranked 20th. But the biggest takeaway from Pryor was his success in pass protection, which the Colts desperately need to see more of in the coming weeks.

Aug 27, 2022; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indianapolis Colts offensive tackle Braden Smith (72) looks on during a preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Scheer-USA TODAY Sports

Braden Smith – OT No. 9

74.2 overall, 66.5 run blocking, 79.3 pass blocking

The final player to make the top ten in their position group was the other tackle on the Colts’ offensive line. Smith, like Pryor, has struggled to begin the year and has given up his fair share of pressures and sacks. But Sunday saw Smith start to turn things around.

Smith’s 74.2 overall grade ranks as the ninth-best offensive tackle for Week 3. His pass blocking grade of 79.3 ranked 13th among tackles, as Smith gave up zero sacks, allowed one QB hit, and one hurry. Smith seemed to struggle a little in the run game, as his 66.5 run blocking grade was only good enough to be ranked 25th.

While Sunday was not perfect by any means for Smith, it was a step in the right direction. The Colts gave Smith a four-year, $70 million extension before training camp last summer to be their right tackle of the present and future. Smith will need to continue to improve his play if he wants to live up to the contract.

Want more Colts content? Check out the first episode of the Horseshoe Huddle Podcast below as Chad Jensen and Andrew Moore give their gut reaction to the Colts upset of the Chiefs!


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