Even in an embarrassing loss, Colts rookies made it clear Indy’s future is bright

The Indianapolis Colts lost on Sunday, but a day of firsts for a couple rookies was a reminder that the future is bright in Indianapolis.
Oct 15, 2023; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Josh Downs (1) and tackle
Oct 15, 2023; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Josh Downs (1) and tackle / Morgan Tencza-USA TODAY Sports

On Sunday, the Indianapolis Colts loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars 37-20, a score that doesn’t even really do justice to how lopsided the game was. The Colts offense couldn’t get much going, and Indy’s defense was unable to provide the kind of support that a struggling offense desperately needed. In the end, the Colts lost their ninth straight road game against the Jaguars.

When the present is so dim, it’s hard to take note of how bright the future is. However, Indy’s young players were trying their best to remind everyone of the Colts’ bright future, during the blowout loss on Sunday. Rookies Josh Downs and JuJu Brents both had milestone moments in the game.

Downs, Indy’s first-year receiver caught his first career touchdown on Sunday. On the two yard line, Downs was singled up, and he left his defender behind, something he’s been doing a good job of all year, breaking wide open for the first touchdown of his career.

On the defensive side of the ball, rookie cornerback JuJu Brents recorded the first interception of his career. A pass that was pretty much thrown directly at him, Brents was able to snag the ball. Hopefully, his first interception of many in Indianapolis.

Josh Downs and JuJu Brents have milestone moments in Colts loss

Downs finished the game with five receptions for just 21 yards and the touchdown. His stat line reflects the problematic identity of Indy’s offense on Sunday, but nevertheless, it was another promising performance for the rookie receiver. The same can be said for Brents, who finished with seven tackles, two pass deflections, and the interception.

Both rookies have been pretty good for the Colts all season. On the year, Downs has 28 receptions for 276 yards and one touchdown, all second most on the team, trailing only Michael Pittman Jr. JuJu Brents, in just four games, has one interception, three pass deflections, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, and 24 tackles.

When you consider what Anthony Richardson was doing when he was on the field, it’s seems like the Colts hit their first three picks out of the park. It’s still extremely early, but Indy has a ton of young talent on the roster, and the future certainly seems bright.