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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Kevin Hickey

Stock up, stock down as Colts enter Week 18

The Indianapolis Colts (9-7) came away with a 23-20 win over the Las Vegas Raiders (7-9) in Week 17, giving themselves a chance to make the playoffs if they’re victorious during the regular-season finale.

Though the Colts held the lead from the opening drive of the game, there were a few moments in which the Raiders appeared to be mounting a comeback. However, Indy was able to hold onto the lead despite not scoring a touchdown in the second half.

Now, it’s time to take a look at whose stock was impacted from the team’s largest loss of the season.

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 17 win:

Stock Up: S Nick Cross

Syndication: The Indianapolis Star

Cross has officially taken over the starting role from Rodney Thomas II (more on him below). The second-year safety had been trending up over the last few weeks, and he played 100% of the snaps in Week 17. Part of that is due to the Julian Blackmon injury, but the former third-round pick has also been playing well since seeing an upgraded role.

Stock Down: S Rodney Thomas II

(AP Photo/Terrance Williams)

Even though Thomas was a pleasant surprise during his rookie season, he hasn’t enjoyed the same success in Year 2. The Yale product played just two defensive snaps last week, easily the fewest of his season. He did come through with the clutch recovery on the onside kick to seal the win, but the fact that he played just two defensive snaps after Julian Blackmon was placed on the injured reserve list is a testament to how far he’s fallen on the depth chart.

Stock Up: S Ronnie Harrison Jr.

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

I promise this article won’t solely be about the safety position. But Harrison deserves a shout-out because he played 97% of the snaps alongside Cross as the other safety. He had a versatile role as well. According to Pro Football Focus, Harrison played 49 snaps as the free safety, 14 in the box and nine in the slot.

Stock Down: DE Kwity Paye

Robert Scheer/IndyStar

Paye being on this list does not express concern about his overall performance this season or his future as a cornerstone edge piece. Still, Paye hasn’t been as effective as a pass rusher over the last four games, and he had arguably his worst game of the season in that regard last week. Paye didn’t record a single pressure and finished the game with just one solo tackle.  He has five total pressures and one sack over his last four games. He’s still a good player, and this is likely just a rut, but we’d be remiss to simply gloss over the recent trend.

Stock Up: Offensive Line

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

The offensive line deserves a ton of credit for this win. The unit allowed just one sack and two quarterback hits while helping pave the way for Jonathan Taylor’s 96 rushing yards. Pro Football Focus credited the unit with just three total pressures allowed despite having to face an elite edge rusher in Maxx Crosby.

Stock Up: CB Julius Brents

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

It wasn’t a perfect game by any means for Brents, but he certainly made his bones in this matchup. Despite being targeted 13 times, eight of which came against Davante Adams, Brents held his own in a big way. He recorded three passes defensed and a 71.3 passer rating in coverage. The rookie made some big plays late in the game while covering Adams, who still went off for a 13-126-2 line.

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