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Jacoby Brissett is rarely asked to do the spectacular in the Colts' offense, but he was able to move the ball with methodical precision against Atlanta. Although much of his yardage came after the catch and on coverage busts, his ability to avoid negative plays was impressive. He displayed excellent pocket presence throughout, manipulating space in the pocket to keep Indy's offense ahead of the chains. Brissett found his checkdown when he needed to and made Atlanta pay when they left a receiver entirely uncovered on a slot-wheel route for a touchdown. Frank Reich has done plenty to help Brissett, calling the cover-three busting post/slot-wheel combination at just the right time, but credit the quarterback's resilience and pocket presence too.
Considering the investment on the offensive line, more would have been expected of the unit. Quenton Nelson had his fair share of mistakes, but it was Ryan Kelly‘s performance that was particularly concerning. He had a nightmare in pass protection, losing a handful of duels almost immediately off the snap. Right tackle Braden Smith, in contrast, flashed serious movement skills cutting off backside defenders on the Colts' classic stretch/outside zone play. He also held his own in pass protection, unlike some of his peers.
This was a game to forget for rookie Stanford product Bobby Okereke. He was exposed in coverage and rarely made his presence felt in the run game.
Isaiah Oliver continues to improve. He enjoyed another memorable game against Indianapolis. Oliver made an impressive pass deflection against one red-zone throw, denying TY Hilton a likely touchdown. He also had excellent coverage on a couple of other plays, forcing Brissett to try to time back-shoulder throws that fell incomplete. Atlanta has excellent depth in the secondary, and they appear to have found a cornerstone opposite Desmond Trufant in the Colorado product.
Adrian Clayborn remains Atlanta's most disruptive edge defender in their nickel package. Anthony Castonzo found containing him particularly challenging, especially when he used power moves to drive the left tackle deep into the backfield. Clayborn has developed a tremendous amount over his career, having disappointed initially on the edge, finding a niche as an interior pass-rusher, then moving back out to defensive end for the Falcons. He's a key player for the defense even if he gets fewer headlines than Deion Jones or Grady Jarrett.
Kaleb McGary should finish reviews with a high pass-blocking grade. He was a bright spot on the offensive side of the ball for Atlanta.