Stock up, stock down from Colts’ 28-24 loss to Steelers

Kevin Hickey
·4 min read

Despite being given the chance to control their own playoff destiny, the Indianapolis Colts (10-5) couldn’t hang on to a 17-point lead in the second half against the Pittsburgh Steelers (12-3) in Week 16.

Now, the Colts have to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars AND get some help from just one other team in the conference in order to make the playoffs. We detailed all the ways the Colts can make the playoffs in Week 17.

Before the final week gets here, let’s take a look at the stock report from the tough road loss against the Steelers:

Stock Up: WR Zach Pascal

AP Photo/Don Wright

Pascal continues to be the most underrated piece of the Colts offense. He led the wide receiver room in snaps at 88% while also leading the unit with three receptions for 64 yards and a 41-yard touchdown grab in the second quarter. Pascal is the ideal depth wide receiver. He can make big plays in important situations but also isn't afraid to get his hands dirty in blocking. He had a strong day when the offense was stifled in the second half and came down with a crucial touchdown.

Stock Down: LB Anthony Walker Jr.

AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

It's no surprise that most of the Colts fanbase prefers Bobby Okereke over Walker Jr. at this point, and Sunday's loss exemplified why. While Walker Jr. is a solid run defender, he can get turned around in coverage relatively easily. That was showcased when former Colts tight end Eric Ebron beat Walker Jr. to the flat and muscled his way through the linebacker's tackle into the end zone for the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter. The Northwestern product allowed four receptions on four targets for 27 yards, one touchdown and a 134.4 passer rating, per Pro Football Focus.

Stock Up: S Khari Willis

AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

Though Willis left the game and is currently in the league's concussion protocol, he was having a strong outing before that. The second-year safety had a sack and a pass defended before exiting in the second half of the game. He was also credited with a run stop from Pro Football Focus. Hopefully, Willis isn't in the concussion protocol too long and he can finish his quietly strong season on a high note.

Stock Down: CB Rock Ya-Sin

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

It has been a rocky road for the second-year cornerback, and Sunday didn't help. Though he saw more work, which is encouraging, Ya-Sin got beat on a deep touchdown to Diontae Johnson—a play that changed the entire game for the Colts defense. He was credited with allowing four receptions on eight targets for 60 yards, a touchdown and a 114.6 passer rating. It hasn't been the best season for the Temple product, and hopefully he can turn things around against the Jaguars in Week 17.

Stock Up: TE Jack Doyle

AP Photo/Don Wright

The veteran tight end saw his snap share dip a lot a few weeks ago but recently has emerged as the top tight end target again. Doyle finished with four receptions for 50 yards on the day while leading the tight end room in snaps for the second week in a row. The tight end room hasn't been as productive as the Colts might have hoped in the passing game, but Doyle had some big catches in this matchup. He'll never be the Travis Kelce type, but it's encouraging to see him getting more involved in the passing game.

Stock Down: P Rigoberto Sanchez

AP Photo/Darron Cummings

This is tough. The guy had cancer earlier this month and was back in two weeks punting again for the Colts. You won't find a bigger Rigo fan than me. But we do have to take into account his performance on the field Sunday, and it wasn't good. Sanchez struggled to flip the field positively for the Colts with just one of his five punts being down inside the 20-yard line. This isn't an indictment of Sanchez. He's still great with a story that's even greater. But Week 16 wasn't his best outing.