We talked earlier this week about six players who played very well last week agains Miami, but what about the players who had a down game? With the short week, the Colts will need every single one of these players to get the win on the road.
1. Mike McGlynn-
McGlynn has had an ok year with the Colts thus far, swinging between below average and average all season. He’s not the weakest link on the line, but he’s not one of the better players either. After a really good game against Tennessee’s mediocre defensive line, McGlynn was torn apart by Randy Starks and the rest of the Miami DL. McGlynn allowed five hurries on the game, and was more harmful than helpful in run blocking. McGlynn finished with the worst grade of the offense on Sunday. He had a below average game last time the Colts faced the Jaguars, so the Colts will be looking for a better performance from him this time around.
2. Winston Justice-
Justice was one of the Colts top performers through six games, and one of the best tackles in the league in pass protection, allowing just five hurries through Week 7. But, in the last two weeks he’s taken a step back, allowing 10 QB pressures over the last two games, including two QB hits. He still hasn’t allowed a sack all season though, and was great in the Jacksonville matchup in Week 3. If the Colts don’t have to worry about edge pressure from the right, it will take a lot off of Luck and the rest of the offensive line.
3. Jerrell Freeman-
Freeman didn’t have an egregiously bad day against Miami, but it was another slightly below average day for Freeman. He’s had a few like that this year, but even then he’s usually been able to get decent tackle numbers. This week though, he was held to just two tackles (season low), had a missed tackle, and had zero stops. He’ll need a better week this week, in Week 3 both he and Conner had poor games, leading to a big day for the Jacksonville run game.
4. Cassius Vaughn-
Vaughn has been a target for fan ire all season, but Sunday against Miami was his worst game of the season. Matched up with the likes of Davone Bess and Jabar Gaffney, Vaughn only allowed four passes for 54 yards, but also was penalized twice down the field. Vaughn finished with PFF’s worst grade of the defense, but will be the number one corner this week with Powers and Davis both out. The Colts will try and make Blaine Gabbert win the game, so Vaughn’s performance may be vital.
5. Jerry Hughes-
Hughes started out the season on a great note, racking up 17 quarterback pressures on a limited amount of snaps. He was by far the Colts top pass rusher through Week 7, and one of the top 3-4 OLBs according to both pressures per snap and PFF’s player grades. But he’s been below average the last two weeks, including an abysmal game against the Titans. He’s managed just one sack, one hurry, and one tackle during those two games. With Mathis likely to miss the Thursday night matchup, the Colts will need to get production from Hughes.