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09/09/2022
Colts cornerback Stephon Gilmore is pictured during a 2022 preseason game. (Photo courtesy of Indianapolis Colts)
Colts cornerback Stephon Gilmore is pictured during a 2022 preseason game. (Photo courtesy of Indianapolis Colts)

Get to Know: Stephon Gilmore

Is he the missing piece to the Colts' defense?

Twenty-three for 32, 223 yards, and two touchdowns. No interceptions. The only game of Trevor Lawrence’s rookie season with more touchdowns than turnovers.

The game? Week 18. The location? TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville. The opponent? The Indianapolis Colts.

All the Colts needed to do was win this game and they were playoff bound. The Jaguars  had other plans.

The Colts walked into the high 70-degree Florida weather and were awful. Three points in three quarters, 11 total. Bad, sure (should I reiterate I wasn't a Carson Wentz fan?), but allowing a team averaging 14.9 points per contest and a rookie quarterback who had eight more turnovers than scores this season put up 26 in a win-or-go-home game is bad. Really Bad.

Thomas Crow
RTDB Podcast: Episode 1

The RTDB Podcast presented by the Hoosier Network is here and ready to roll. Thomas and Jaren discuss the offseason acquisitions as well as the preseason. The boys then look ahead to the Colts week 1 game vs. the Texans and overall predictions for the NFL this season!

Transcript

Put simply: “The Indianapolis Colts got clowned in Jacksonville,” as Associated Press columnist Mark Long wrote. They had blown their opportunity, advanced to 9-8 and the season was officially a failure.

Starting outside cornerback Xavier Rhodes was out for the game with a lingering hamstring injury and the starter on the other side, Rock Ya-Sin, made it through half of the first drive until a mixture of hip and ankle issues ended his day early. This left Kenny Moore II in the slot cornerback position, kick return specialist Isaiah Rodgers in one outside spot and practice-squad member Anthony Chesley in the other. 

Something needed to change…

How about the 2019 NFL Defensive Player of the Year?

The Colts signed five-time Pro Bowler Stephon Gilmore with a two-year, 20 million dollar deal in April with the intent of completely revamping their No. 16-ranked secondary according to Pro Football Focus.

Gilmore was born in Rock Hill, South Carolina where he won the South Carolina Mr. Football playing from the quarterback and cornerback positions. Gilmore, who also had options to play basketball or run track in college, decided on football and chose to go play for Steve Spurrier and the Gamecocks of South Carolina. Gilmore earned freshman All-America honors and eventually was drafted No. 10 in the 2012 draft to the Buffalo Bills where he spent his first five seasons before a four-year stint in New England. Gilmore was then traded in 2020 to the Carolina Panthers for a 2023 sixth-round pick.

The 32-year-old Super Bowl 53 champ Gilmore brings a level of leadership to this Colts secondary, but more importantly the skill to be a true No. 1 corner for a team who desperately needs it. His career 27 interceptions and 116 passes defended are both pieces for heavy optimism within the franchise.

Gilmore’s play had declined slightly since his 2019 DPOY campaign having missed 13 games in those two seasons and having only three interceptions and five passes defended in games where he was healthy. His completion percentage and passer rating allowed over those two seasons have both risen.

Fortunately for the Colts, Gilmore is in a cheap, team-friendly deal, and more importantly finally healthy for the first time in two seasons. 

Stephon Gilmore’s Top Career Performances:

3. September 25, 2016: 33-18 Win vs Arizona Cardinals:

Gilmore’s Stats: 3 Tackles - 4 Passes Defended - 2 INTs

2. November 20, 2016: 16-12 Win vs Cincinnati Bengals:

Gilmore’s Stats: 6 Tackles - 3 Passes Defended - 2 INTs

1. December 15, 2019: 34-13 Win vs Cincinnati Bengals:

Gilmore’s Stats: 2 Tackles - 4 Passes Defended - 2 INTs - 2 TDs

Season Statistical Prediction:

40 Tackles - 5 Passes Defended - 3 Interceptions

Final thoughts:

Stephon Gilmore joins the Colts’ No. 10-ranked defense, joining the ranks of DeForest Bunkner, Shaquille (Darius) Leonard, and Kenny Moore II with the intent of winning the AFC South for the first time since 2014, and a chance to go deep into the playoffs. 

"I felt this was the right situation and I'm just looking forward to it." Gilmore said in his introductory press conference.


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