to squeak out a win on the road in Philadelphia as the Eagles were a bit too much in Week 3. Whether you have a half-full or half-empty takeaway from the Colts road loss Youth Kenny Moore Jersey
, there were some bright spots in this one as well.The Colts only lost by a 4-point margin, and you can make the argument for the Colts to be sitting at 3-0 right now, Sunday they lost in nearly all of the areas that were offering them success in the first two weeks. They weren’t good in the red zone, they weren’t good on third down, they committed far too many penalties and the offense gave a new meaning to “death by a thousand paper cuts.”Defensively, the Colts still managed to make some plays, which is about all that kept them in the game, and the unit seems to step up when it matters the most. Penalties were a killer, but largely I think most Colts fans should be excited about the direction of this young defense.Here are the Week 3 game balls for the Colts who deserved them.OFFENSERyan GrantDespite having Andrew Luck under center, this week’s game ball goes to Ryan Grant who I’ve been extremely critical of up to this point in his stay in Indianapolis. Grant wasn’t impressive through training camp, and still looked to have failed to gained any chemistry with Luck in the preseason as well.However, ever since the games started counting, Grant has been extremely reliable and probably the most consistent receiver for the Colts. He isn’t a big-play threat, and I can’t really envision him becoming one, but Sunday http://www.coltsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-quenton-nelson-jersey
, he made an impact.Grant was on the receiving end of only 3 passes, totaling 35 yards, but his touchdown grab over Ronald Darby was quite impressive. Additionally, Grant caught a pass a two plays before his touchdown where he pushed forward and out-muscled Sidney Jones to earn a first down on a third-and-eight situation.There was little else to get excited about on the offensive side of the ball as they punted 5 times, had 6 drives totaling 5 plays or fewer all while having 5 red zone opportunities. A day to forget for most of the offense.DEFENSEMargus HuntDarius LeonardOn the defensive side of the ball, we could realistically hand this game ball to a couple different guys. So, that’s exactly what we did. Despite a bit of a slow start, Darius Leonard got back to matching his energy level and production from the first two games with a couple sacks and 13 total tackles. Leonard also had 5 tackles for loss and had a pass defensed as well. This dude just continues to fill up the stat sheet every week.There was no reason for me to leave Leonard out of this simply because his expectations are now for him to do exactly what he’s done the past two weeks. Leonard is a leader on this defense, and is creating really good chemistry alongside fellow linebacker Anthony Walker — and he’s a rookie.I began to wonder through the course of the game if Matt Eberflus will begin to design more pass rushing reps for Leonard in the future due to his ability to get to the quarterback. It’d be a hard move in the moment, though, due to how important he is at the second level of this young defense. I simply love watching him play.The other defensive game ball goes to the angry Estonian, Margus Hunt. How about this guy having 2 total sacks to his name through his first 5 years in the league?! I don’t know if that’s a question or not, but he’s got 3 (should be 4 or 5 even) this year alone.Hunt had another sack Sunday and should have had a second one, but it was somehow officially marked as a play of no gain. Hunt forced a fumble and recovered it, on the sack he did get credit for Darius Leonard Jersey
, and was a force up front all day. Hunt had 3 tackles for loss and has proven to be even better in a 4-man front despite him impressing last year too.Both of these guys have been fantastic this year, and are a bit part of the success the defense has been able to have. Let’s hope they can continue their quality play throughout the season, because I think the team is going to need it more than we previously expected to.SPECIAL TEAMSAdam VinatieriAs much as I hope to not have to hand a game ball to the special teams, Adam Vinatieri earned it today. Vinny was 3-for-3 in Philly and hit kicks from 35, 31 and 28 yards out, and without him knocking them all through the uprights the Colts would have been even worse off.The weather wasn’t ideal for a kicker, and Eagles’ kicker Jake Elliott even missed one of his 3 attempts as a result. Vinatieri tied Morten Andersen for the most field goals (565) in NFL history on Sunday and will hold that record all to himself with his next one — presumably in Lucas Oil Stadium next week against the Houston Texans.Vinny is just 34 points from passing Andersen for most points scored in NFL history, and at this rate he should attain that crown somewhere near the mid-way point in the season.Injury Update: Anthony Castonzo and Marlon Mack practicing, Castonzo says he is “Full-Go” The Colts may have reason to be optimistic about the offensive line heading into week two. Anthony Castonzo spoke to the media today and says he is “full-go” and that there is “no question” that he will play against Washington. In addition, it appears that both Castonzo and running back Marlon Mack were on the field to start practice today, which is another very encouraging sign.If everything goes as planned and Castonzo is healthy and ready to go on Sunday, it provides a major lift to the offensive line. In Castonzo’s absence, the line performed relatively well on Sunday against a pretty formidable group of defensive linemen. However, his return would allow Joe Haeg to slide over to the right tackle position, which just lost J’Marcus Webb with a hamstring injury. Haeg is a better option at right tackle than Webb anyway Authentic Braden Smith Jersey
, in all likelihood, but Castonzo is a huge improvement over Haeg on the left side. Paired with Quenton Nelson, Castonzo would ostensibly lock down the left side of the line and let any help or additional protection concentrate on the right side. There is a reason that starting caliber NFL left tackles are well paid, and getting him back would be a big difference maker for the offense.The Colts’ offense relied heavily on quick-hitting, short throws to move the ball against the Bengals. It is unlikely that they’ll deviate significantly from that approach, but they will need to get deep shots involved in the game plan as well, and getting Castonzo back likely buys you the ability to make that happen a few times more than they were comfortable with in week one without him. Perhaps the most noticeable impact will be in the running game, where the team struggled to get any kind of effective attack going. We don’t yet know if Mack will be able to play against Washington. The Colts have proven that they are not interested in rushing guys back to the field, and that is the smart approach. It wouldn’t help them to hurry either Castonzo or Mack back, just to have them re-injure themselves. The return of Marlon Mack to the field is not insignificant either. Despite playing with a torn labrum all last year, Mack was often the most electrifying player on the field for the Colts. Given what we have seen from Frank Reich’s play design so far, we can surmise that he will find a way to get Mack the ball in space. The few times that the Colts did that last season, Mack made some pretty incredible things happen. If these two are available Sunday, the Colts could be a pretty exciting offense to watch.