Today we are going to dive into the 2021 season pro bowlers for the Indianapolis Colts. A season that began with promise, ended without a playoff berth they had hoped for. The team finished 7-9 after finishing 9-7 last year. They showed fight at the end of the year with some upsets and finished on a high note leading into the offseason. Let’s jump into some notable team stats, and then look at the pro bowl players including the team MVP.
The offense 19th in the league in PPG with 30. They had the highest redzone scoring percentage across the league. The defense gave up 31 ppg, as well as an awful 128 rushing yards per game. A team that was built to run the ball and play defense, just did not have enough defense this year. With the season not finishing quite the way they wanted there were still some outstanding players.
The team had four pro bowlers this year.
Jonathan Taylor who had 1,810 rushing yards on the season as well as 17 rushing touchdowns. He also added in 54 catches for 491 yards and another touchdown receiving. This gave him back to back years of over 2,000 yards from scrimmage.
Parris Campbell notched his first pro bowl of his career. He stepped up and became to go to target for the Colts. His breakout campaign finished with 77 catches for 1,518 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Quentin Nelson who is a perennial pro bowl choice. He has continued to dominate and be the anchor on one of the better offensive line units in the game. He gave up 0 sacks all year and often created huge holes for the run game.
Deforest Buckner makes it back to back years in the pro bowl as well. The defensive tackle dominates in the run game and also added in 7 sacks from the interior line position. His value to the team is much more then just the stats, as teams routinely have to gameplan for him and run away from where he is lined up.
We would like to shout out a few key members who had excellent years and narrowly missed out on a pro bowl bid. Malik Hooker just missed out but had an amazing year. He led the defense with 12 interceptions and played exceptionally well in the run game. He was leading in the early DPOY polls as he had 10 interceptions in the first 11 weeks but his production slowed down over the final 5 weeks.
Jarquiski Tartt finished his first year with the team with 8 interceptions and 35 tackles. He also chipped in one sack and a defensive touchdown. The Colts will need him to improve his ability to stop the run next year, but he proved he is an asset in the pass game this year.
For the second year in a row the team MVP, will be Jonathan Taylor. Last year he also came home with league MVP honors, but this year did not quite live up to that. The team played more balanced early on before they went back to feeding their workhorse. Teams know he will be the focus of the offense, and he still amassed over 2,000 yards from scrimmage. He know has over 4,000 rush yards in just two seasons. It’s early on in his career, but if he can keep this up for a few more seasons he has a chance at rewriting a lot of the running back career records.
The team is hoping to build on these top individual performances to more team success next year. The pieces seem to be here, but it will take an entire team effort to go from cellar of the division to playoffs next year. The team has its eyes focused on the offseason, we will check back with offseason grades as they happen.