The Colts have a great defense and it mostly shut the Baltimore offense down in the first half of Sundays game, but they couldn’t do much offensively and didn’t score in the second half of the game. Baltimore’s defense was incredible, even despite not having their best player in Marlon Humphrey as well as starting ILB L.J. Fort. A lot of that success can be attributed to the performances of the rookies on the defensive end that stepped up big time.
Malik Harrison was all over the field this game. Receiving only 33 defensive snaps, Harrison managed to combine for 11 tackles, the most on the team. He made an impact on one-third of the plays he was on the field for, by far the most efficient of any defender that played in this game. For proper context, Harrison hasn’t played very much his rookie year, in fact, he hasn’t even played enough snaps to qualify for Pro Football Focus’ grading system.
Even so, he has made a routine of making the most out of his little playing time throughout the year, including last week in which he made three tackles in only 10 snaps.
Harrison’s playtime will most likely decrease once again when L.J. Fort returns, but he has shown that he deserves a bigger role on this team. Look out for him in the weeks to come.
Patrick Queen had another alright game, finishing with four tackles, three of which were solo. Queen so far has shown an innate ability for rushing the passer, however has continued to be incredibly lackluster in coverage, which may not be a major issue if (according to PFF) he hadn’t had 230 coverage snaps so far this season.
“Wink” Martindale continues to use him primarily as a coverage linebacker, and it has proven to be a role that Queen just isn’t suited for.
Madubuike has been used very scarcely so far this year but with the openings on the defensive side of the ball, he was given an opportunity to shine and was able to perform well in Week 9.
Despite only receiving 24 offensive snaps, Madubuike was able to combine for five total tackles, three of which were solo. He’s another player on this list who hasn’t even played enough to receive a PFF grade, but he showed a great ability to get to the ball and make tackles when given the opportunity today. Madubuike may see his playing time reduced once again once the defense is at full strength, but this game was by far his best of the season, and there may be more like it on the horizon.
Dobbins had a fairly forgettable game against the Colts, only gaining 30 rushing yards on 12 attempts. Dobbins has had a fairly good rookie season despite mostly being used as the third option at running back, but has gotten more snaps than No. 3 RB’s around the NFL.
He’s had some great games and some not great games, but the thing most people think of is still that Baltimore took him in the second round — and whether or not that was a smart decision. He still has another half of a season to play before we can really definitively give an answer.