Aug 7, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Indianapolis Colts defensive back Dewey McDonald (31) sacks New York Jets quarterback Matt Simms (5) during the second half at MetLife Stadium. The Jets defeated the Colts 13-10. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Colts Rising and Falling: Preseason Week 2

The Colts lost to the Giants on Saturday in heartbreaking (much sorrow was had) fashion, losing a 26-point lead in the fourth quarter.

The loss really means nothing. Some (NO NAMES WILL BE MENTIONED) have questioned the team’s fortitude, Chuck Pagano’s leadership and the size of Chandler Harnish’s clutch gene because of the loss, but that would be really, really, really, really dumb. If you’re going to take something from the loss, it’s that the Colts’ depth is pretty bad. But hey, we knew that.

So on to things that may or may not actually matter: who is playing well and helping their case, versus who is not.

Risers

Dewey McDonald

McDonald has been one of the only safeties to really stand out in a positive way over both of the last two games. He’s graded at +3.3 from PFF over the two games, the second-highest defensive Colts grade and the fifth-highest grade for all safeties in the league.

McDonald has yet to miss a tackle and he’s allowed just one reception for three yards. Sure, he’s going against third-string offenses, but he’s making the most of his opportunities. Look for him to potentially be a practice squad addition.

Zach Kerr

He’s the darling of the Colts undrafted free agent, and he received quite a bit of hype on Saturday, understandably. Kerr is second only to Josh Chapman (who’s been fantastic) in run stop percentage so far among the Colts’ defensive linemen, and is 25th overall among 160 defensive tackles.

Kerr is tied with McDonald at +3.3 in PFF’s grade, and he’s actually been productive both as a run stuffer and a pass rusher (got to the quarterback twice Saturday, but plays were wiped out due to non-DL penalties). There’s really no reason to keep Brandon McKinney around with Kerr playing so well.

Hakeem Nicks

With T.Y. Hilton and Reggie Wayne both out on Saturday, Nicks showed that he can still carry the load. He has the second-highest “Pass” grade among all wide receivers this preseason, and was even more productive than his numbers might indicate, given the long catch-and-run that was wiped out because of a silly penalty (Hakeem, don’t do the Dikembe finger wag while still running with the ball please).

With Hilton and Wayne healthy, Nicks won’t have that kind of production every week, but it’s great that the Colts have a possession receiver that can fill in for Wayne when needed.

Falling

Matt Hall

It’s not like he was ever a favorite to make the roster, but he’s guaranteed that he will not: Hall has the worst PFF grade (-10.2) of any tackle in the league so far this preseason.

There are a LOT of bad offensive linemen in the NFL. There are even more bad offensive linemen during the preseason. This is, unfortunately, quite the feat.

Qua Cox

A post-draft favorite by many fans, Cox has not impressed in either training camp or preseason. On six targets, he’s allowed five catches for 53 yards and a touchdown so far, and has a -3.1 grade overall. While Loucheiz Purifoy and Marcus Burley have shone, Cox is quickly falling to the wayside.

Donte Moncrief

WAIT WAIT WAIT. Hold the pitchforks for a few seconds.

I’m not overly concerned about Moncrief, and he’s still the No. 4 receiver. But, I would really like to start to see some production from him in an actual game. Training camp stars are great, but it doesn’t mean anything, and Moncrief has not been productive at all thus far in the preseason (three targets, two catches, 25 yards).

Among 207 qualifying receivers, Moncrief currently ranks 203rd in PFF’s grades (-3.2). Grades are tough for WRs without All-22, but it’s still not a great sign. Again, there’s no panicking here, but it’s taken some of the shine off of his stellar camp.

Kyle J. Rodriguez

About Kyle J. Rodriguez

A film and numbers guru, Kyle writes about the NFL and the Indianapolis Colts for Bleacher Report, Draft Mecca and The Football Educator, and is a co-founder and associate editor of Colts Authority. Kyle also is a high school sports reporter for the MLive Media Group in Michigan, covering high school sports across the state.

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