I hate to rag on a guy, especially after a huge emotional victory in what could be the best game in NFL history, but when the Indianapolis Colts benched cornerback Greg Toler, it was the best decision all day.
Toler was brought in during the offseason to defend opposite Vontae Davis, but this season hasn’t been kind to him.
After a ho-hum start to the season, Toler was injured during October 20 matchup with the Denver Broncos. He wouldn’t play again for another two months when he made his comeback against this same Kansas City Chiefs team in Arrowhead Stadium on December 22. He didn’t play much then because the Colts wanted to ease him back, as he played a similar role against the Jacksonville Jaguars last week.
Today though, he started again and was looked upon to have an impact helping this secondary out. Instead, he found his way to the bench as he was beat by just about everyone.
In the first quarter, he was beat time and time again by Dwayne Bowe. He gave up so many big plays so they moved him to Donnie Avery. The former Colt receiver burned him after that, so they moved him to Junior Hemmingway. Finally, the coaches had enough and benched him.
That decision proved to be pivotal. When Darius Butler and Josh Gordy came in they played much better. They were able to play tighter coverage and didn’t give up big plays. They actually defended passes and didn’t give up.
Going forward, I’d keep Toler on the bench.
Eric Smith is the Colts Beat Writer for Rant Sports. He’s covered the team the past four seasons and is recognized as an accredited member of the media by the Colts. Follow him on Twitter @ericsportsguru