Where the Colts excelled against Baltimore (continued)
Gardner Minshew was far from perfect, but he showed why he is one of the best backups in this league. Minshew came into this game a winless 0-5 against teams with an over .500 record and he was able to snap that streak. Minshew finished completing 27-of-44 passes for 227 yards and one touchdown. While he was sacked five times, he did not commit a turnover. He did step out of bounds and cause a safety, you can pin that on other factors as well. Minshew never got rattled and showed immense resiliency in the fourth quarter and overtime, leading Indy on a drive that set up the game-winning field goal.
Colts pass rush continues to exceed expectations
Another solid effort from the Indianapolis pass rush this week. Kwity Paye is earning his upcoming extension this season with another productive outing. He recorded another key sack and was disruptive again. We also saw Samson Ebukam and Grover Stewart deliver sacks as well. While it’s hard to stop Lamar Jackson, they made an impact on his production. While they struggled to stop him on the ground, they did keep him to about 200 yards passing and were constantly applying pressure.
Kicker Matt Gay
Without question, the player of the game for Week 3. Matt Gay finished connecting on 5-of-5 field goals, hitting three field goals from 53 yards and had a 31 and 54-yarder as well. This past offseason Colts GM Chris Ballard signed Matt Gay to the largest free agency contract in NFL History for a kicker. That contract was a four-year deal valued at $22.5 Million. Many fans in Indianapolis ripped Ballard for this decision and thought it was too expensive for a kicker and too much money to spend on a non-skill position.
Those critics should be silenced after this performance. The Colts struggled in the kicking department the past few years with the decline of Hall of Famer Adam Vinatieri and the Colts parted ways with the inconsistent Rodrigo Blankenship. Ballard wanted the reliability of a veteran and tested kicker, and it paid off this week and will in the future if Indy happens to continue its winning ways.