Studs and duds from Colts’ 27-17 win vs. Dolphins

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The Indianapolis Colts (1-3) got a much-needed first win of the year on the road over the Miami Dolphins (1-3) in a pretty impressive fashion for most of the game. It was a nice rebound for a struggling team fighting to save its season.

The Colts had more than a few solid performances on the day and here we’ll highlight just a few and low-light some others in our studs and duds of this Week 4 victory.

STUD: TE Mo Alie-Cox

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Red-zone efficiency has been a problem that had plagued Indianapolis throughout the first three games of the season. They needed a player to step up in a big way to get the offense back on track scoring in that critical area of the field. Tight end Mo Alie-Cox did just that today, and it makes one wonder why he’s not targeted more often in such a winnable match-up for the big 6’5″ 267 pound target. He hauled in just three catches on the day, but had two of those go for goal to go scores and proved why he can be a nightmare going forward for opposing defenses should he see more targets next week.

DUD: OT Eric Fisher

AP Photo/John Amis

For the second week in a row now, it seems the former two-time Pro Bowl offensive tackle has been a real weak point on a very much struggling offensive line for the Colts. While Dolphins first round rookie pass rusher Jaelan Phillips had his way with Fisher many times on the day, and without assistance from standout reserve left guard Chris Reed, struggled in the run game as well. These deficiencies won’t be as highlighted with a reeling Dolphins team, but with tougher tasks and teams on the horizon, Fisher once again needs to improve on what he’s shown thus far into the season.

STUD: DE Kemoko Turay

Jenna Watson/IndyStar

Another area that has been highlighted in the Colts’ recent losses has been a lack of pass rush or even much pressure on the quarterback. With so many young high draft picks invested into the defensive front, the results have been disappointing leading up to this game. However, another position desperate for a player to step up got just that in young pass rusher Kemoko Turay.

After helping organize a team meeting to confront their recent struggles, Turay put on quite the show in Miami. Turay tallied not one but two sacks on the day and was a force winning most reps against the Miami offensive line. Kemoko alongside fellow second-round pick Tyquan Lewis, and a continually impressive Al-Quadin Muhammad got after former Colts QB Jacoby Brissett with pressure all afternoon and we’re a big reason for the win.

DUD: CB Xavier Rhodes

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

The Colts secondary has been snakebitten by injuries thus far and was forced to start two new players at both corner and safety in this game. While the rough points in coverage would be expected there, the culprit for this contest was veteran starting corner Xavier Rhodes.

Rhodes was routinely beaten in coverage by DeVante Parker which led to both of the Dolphins garbage time scores that nearly had a beaten team back in the game. To make matters worse, Rhodes was called for multiple blatant pass interference penalties which put the team in an even tougher spot. While he is coming off an injury, as is much of the Colts roster, those kinds of mistakes will need to be addressed and fixed if the Colts want to build off of this win.

STUD: OG Chris Reed

AP Photo/Stacy Bengs

Chris Reed was faced with an almost herculean task this week, replace the likes of All-Pro left guard Quenton Nelson who would miss the first game of his pro career due to a high ankle sprain. Reed has done an admirable, if not impressive job of just that against Miami.

Reed was mauling lanes open in the run game for Jonathan Taylor to rumble for over 100 yards while helping ease the current pass blocking struggles of his fellow linemen. While losing a top-tier talent like Nelson is awful for any amount of time, having a tough, gritty and experienced veteran to lean on behind him may help this team keep their banged-up quarterback upright and winning games.

DUD: Nyheim Hines

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This selection is not purely on the fact of the special teams turnover running back Nyheim Hines unfortunately coughed up. This selection is also based on the coaching staff’s punishment of its offense by taking away the different elements that Hines provides by not giving him snaps most likely due to the very same error.

While a fumbled punt return is unacceptable, and holding players accountable for their mistakes is a must, the team should have simply benched him for returning kicks, and not from running the ball as well. Thankfully the defense held the Dolphins to only a field goal after the turnover and hopefully Hines gets more than just two carries in the next game.

STUD: RB Jonathan Taylor

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The second-year back finally had his breakout game taking 16 carries for 103 yards and his first rushing touchdown of the campaign. Taylor popped off some big runs for the offense as the Colts tried to control the line of scrimmage.

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