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

Studs and duds from Colts’ 29-23 loss to Rams

The Indianapolis Colts (2-2) made a valiant comeback attempt but wound up falling short in a 29-23 overtime loss against the Los Angeles Rams (2-2) on Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.

After falling 23-0 halfway through the third quarter, the Colts looked about as lifeless as could be in all three phases of the game. The offense, however, found a spark behind its rookie quarterback after that while the defense got some crucial stops throughout the fourth quarter to erase the deficit.

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The Rams got the ball first during overtime and were able to put together a scoring drive with the game-winning score coming on a blown coverage in the secondary.

Here are the studs and duds from the Colts’ loss in Week 4:

STUD: QB Anthony Richardson

It wasn’t always pretty, but Richardson earned our player of the game honors for being the spark the team needed to mount a 23-point comeback with only a quarter-and-a-half left to play. The rookie completed 11-of-25 passes for 200 yards, two touchdowns and a 98.8 passer rating while adding 56 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown. Putting it all together in one game will be Richardson’s next step, but it was encouraging to see him erase such a large deficit.

DUD: DT Taven Bryan

Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

It’s never going to be easy when being compared to DeForest Buckner, who was relegated to limited snaps on passing downs due to groin and back injuries. His replcement was Bryan, who struggled all day to get off blocks and impact the pocket. On top of that, it was clear the Rams had a plan to run right at the three-technique, and they did so with great success as Bryan was constantly washed out of the run game.

STUD: DE Dayo Odeyingbo

Justin Casterline/Getty Images

One of the defenders quietly having a strong start to the season is the third-year edge rusher in Odeyingbo. Despite the Colts’ pass rush going dormant for much of this game, Odeyingbo kept the defense alive with constant pressure and a handful of impact plays against the run. Odeyingbo finished the game with 1.5 sacks, four quarterback hits, one tackle for loss, one pass defensed and a forced fumble.

DUD: LT Blake Freeland

(AP Photo/George Frey)

Yes, this is a bit harsh. There’s a lot of context that goes into Freeland’s performance, and it’s something that does need to be acknowledged. Freeland got the start at left tackle, replacing starter Bernhard Raimann, who was inactive due to a concussion. The rookie made his NFL debut and got the fun task of lining up across from Aaron Donald on several plays. Donald had his way with Freeland, which was to be expected. We shouldn’t be too harsh on Freeland because it’s still early in his career, but we still have to acknowledge when he struggles.

STUD: TE Andrew Ogletree

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Ogletree did all of his damage on one drive, but man did he make it count. On the final offensive drive of regulation, Ogletree posted three receptions for 48 yards and a touchdown, which helped set up the game-tying two-point conversion. On that drive, Ogletree had receptions of 21, 22 and then the five-yard touchdown.

DUD: LB Shaquille Leonard

Justin Casterline/Getty Images

The Maniac simply doesn’t look like himself right now. Maybe he just needs more time to get back into football shape, but the impact plays aren’t there, and the other linebackers in the room are being more productive. Leonard had just three tackles on the day and was taken off the field during crucial drives in the fourth quarter. Even when Zaire Franklin briefly left due to a back injury, it was E.J. Speed and Segun Olubi who replaced him. Hopefully, Leonard can get back to his form soon, but he hasn’t provided that game-breaking impact yet this season.

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