The Indianapolis Colts lost a tight game to the Pittsburgh Steelers but some impressive performances by rookies kept the game close.
It’s hard looking for silver linings in losses. Especially when the losses are close games for a 4-7-1 team. However, the Indianapolis Colts have had some silver linings in a few of their seven losses this season. Typically, the silver lining is how well the defense played for Indianapolis, but on Monday night, the bright spot for the Colts was how well some of the team’s rookies played. Honestly, the performance from a few rookies kept Indy in the game.
Surprisingly, Alec Pierce wasn’t one of Indy’s rookies that had a big game on Monday. The Colts’ top pick had the worst game of his career since his debut performance. Like that game, Pierce went catch-less on Monday night. However, Indy’s second pick of the draft, Jelani Woods, had a lot of catches and led Indy in receiving.
Woods was targeted nine times and hauled in eight catches for 98 yards. Entering Monday, Jelani only had seven receptions for 79 yards on the season. After missing two games with a shoulder injury, Woods returned on Monday and reminded everyone why he was such an exciting prospect. He wasn’t the only rookie to do that against the Steelers.
The catalyst for Indy’s second-half comeback attempt was defensive back and return man, Dallis Flowers. Flowers opened the second half with an 89-yard kickoff return that set the Colts up for a score and brought some juice to the team to make the game competitive.
Rookies continue to show promise for Colts
This is the kind of electric ability that Flowers showcased in college and that’s why many fans were excited when Indianapolis signed him as an undrafted free agent. However, Monday night was Flowers’ first time returning a kick for the Colts but after what he did, it surely won’t be the last. Expect many more exciting moments from the young returner.
In addition to Woods and Flowers, Bernhard Raimann also had a good game. Going up against Pittsburgh’s defensive line, many expected Indy’s struggling offensive line to have a really bad game. However, that wasn’t the case. Not only did Braden Smith have an improved performance, but the rookie Raimann also held his own on the left side of the line. He did give up one sack late but his performance all throughout the game shows that he’s improving.
While many people had high expectations for the Colts this season, it’s been clear that those expectations weren’t going to pan out. It’s all about the future now for Indianapolis and Indy’s current rookie class is showing that the future can be bright.