It was a back-and-forth battle all game that included eight lead changes. The Colts offense posted a season-high 38 points and 456 total yards against arguably the best defense in the NFL.
Now, it’s time to take a look at how this game impacted the stock of a handful of players.
When taking stock of a player’s performance, it’s best to be fluid. A player’s stock will fall and rise throughout the season so none of this is set in stone. However, it is important to take note of the narratives and storylines taking place as the campaign progresses.
A player’s stock can be impacted by factors such as their performance or the type of snaps they receive during the games.
Here’s a look at the stock report for the Colts following the Week 7 loss:
Stock Up: WR Josh Downs
The rookie slot receiver continues to impress. He got the day started with a 59-yard touchdown reception down the sideline on a free play in which he got vertical behind some broken coverage. Downs led the entire offense with five receptions for 125 yards and a touchdown, earning our Player of the Game honors and leading to a Rookie of the Week nomination.
The shifty slot receiver has been a consistent producer as a quick-winning option, and he’s already looking like a massive steal.
Stock Down: CB Darrell Baker Jr.
Baker got dealt a raw hand toward the end of the game when he was flagged for two crucial penalties. The first, an illegal contact penalty, negated what would have been a game-ending turnover. That call was questionable, but he did bite pretty hard on an inside move against veteran receiver Amari Cooper. The second call was not his fault and should not be put on his shoulders. Though Baker was flagged for defensive pass interference in the end zone, the ball was nowhere near catchable, and it was a pretty obvious blunder by the officials.
Regardless, Baker stepped in as the No. 3 cornerback when Julius Brents got injured, and the Browns quickly targeted him seven times, resulting in four receptions for 57 yards, according to Pro Football Focus.
Stock Up: RB Jonathan Taylor
He’s back. We got s vintage game from Taylor against one of the best run defenses in the NFL. Seeing exactly 50% of the snaps for the first time this season, Taylor took 18 carries for 75 rushing yards and a touchdown—his first of the season. He also added three receptions for 45 yards in the passing game, the second game in a row he’s hit that mark.
It will be interesting to see how the split with Zack Moss continues, but Taylor looked like his old self again.
Stock Down: DT Taven Bryan
When Bryan was signed this offseason in free agency, he wasn’t expected to come in and make a major impact. It was a depth signing behind a stout pair of starters. But he’s made little to no impact even despite the Grover Stewart suspension and Eric Johnson injury. Bryan still played just 25% of the snaps despite the need for bodies on the interior defensive line.
Stock Up: S Julian Blackmon
There has been a lot of talk about Colts players in contract years. Jonathan Taylor was the big name, of course, and Michael Pittman Jr. also has dominated that discussion. Even Grover Stewart and Kenny Moore II have been mentioned as players to watch. Blackmon has quietly put together a strong first half, and he’s been making a major impact in both phases.
Not only did he add two run stops, but Blackmon also was arguably the best coverage player on the defense. According to Pro Football Focus, he allowed two receptions on three targets for just 12 yards and added his interception interception of the season. If he keeps playing at this level, the Colts will have no choice but to sign him before the season ends.