The Colts’ offense started well, but sputtered late in the loss to Tennessee Monday night. This week’s Offensive Player of the Game goes to a player who performed consistently throughout the entire game, offensive lineman Ryan Kelly.
Kelly, 2016’s number 18 pick from the University of Alabama, is arguably the best player on the Colts’ offensive line. Coming into the NFL last year as a rookie, the 2015 Rimington Trophy winner started all 16 games for the Colts at center.
The Indianapolis offensive line has been much maligned this season, and rightfully so. However, they played well under the bright lights of Monday Night Football, and kept Jacoby Brissett upright throughout the game. They also opened holes for the running backs allowing them to rack up 4.6 yards per carry.
Most of the Colts’ chunk plays on the ground belonged to Frank Gore including his longest gain of 12 yards. Gore was continuously able to pound the ball up the middle behind the physically-dominant Kelly in the first half. Marlon Mack, in limited action, also had a gain of 22 yards up the middle on the Colts first drive, which ended in a field goal.
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The second half saw much more zone blitzing by the Titans. And while there were many more hurried throws and quarterback hits from Tennessee after halftime, Brissett was still not sacked.
Kelly also had a hand in keeping Tennessee’s defensive lineman Jurrell Casey from disrupting the Indianapolis offense on a consistent basis. The two-time Pro Bowler was held in check with only 3 tackles on the night.
With Kelly being sidelined for the start of the season with a foot injury, it was good to see him back in action last week against the 49ers, and back to his normally high level of performance on Monday night against the Titans.