Thursday Night Football ended up being a game for fans of defense.
However, Indianapolis Colts cornerback Stephon Gilmore came out as the only star of that game.
With a game full of field goals, it was his defensive prowess that won the game for the Colts.
So what set off the former NFL Defense Player of the Year to step up and shine on Thursday night?
Gilmore Wasn’t Letting The Broncos Test Him
Russell Wilson and his receivers made a mistake by trying to test Gilmore.
The first mistake was testing him late in the fourth quarter when the Broncos had the ball and a three point lead.
While the Broncos should have run the ball, they tested Gilmore and failed.
He made a game changing interception, one which shifted the momentum of the game.
Stephon Gilmore made the 2 biggest plays of the game. First the game-changing interception that earned his team 24% Win Probability and a chance to get to OT
Then in OT, he has the Pass Breakup to seal the Colts comeback win
— Prime Video Sports Analytics & Insights (@PVSportsStats) October 7, 2022
However, when Wilson tested him on a fourth down play in overtime, Gilmore denied the Broncos a game-winning touchdown.
Those two plays made him an instant star Thursday night, as offensive plays were at a premium.
Despite playing from behind, he made clutch plays at the right time for the Colts.
When interviewed after the game, Gilmore revealed how he knew Wilson was coming back to him, and he was going to make him pay.
Stephon Gilmore on Russell Wilson: "He kept trying me so I made him pay" pic.twitter.com/xcS2V6sSSd
— Rob Lopez (@r0bato) October 7, 2022
But can he continue to shine in Indianapolis with the team’s offense looking horrible last night?
Gilmore Is Off To His Best Start Since 2019
The previous two seasons have been a wash for the former DPOY.
A quad injury cut short his 2020 season and kept him out of the first seven games of 2021.
With that injury, and other issues during both seasons, he saw limited action.
However, he’s looking the best he’s been since his 2019 season, where he won the DPOY award.
His five games this season have him with more passes defended than his 2020 or 2021 seasons.
Also, his one interception from Thursday night already ties his 2020 record where he had a single INT over 11 games.
But the best news for him is his PFF grade for Thursday night and this season, which ranks him among the best corners this season.
At 32, Gilmore is still one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL.
— Doug Kyed (@DougKyed) October 7, 2022
He’s already showing how great he is, despite coming off an injury and being 32-years-old.
Gilmore May Prove To Be The Best Signing By The Colts In 2022
With his play this season, Gilmore is already paying dividends for his team.
He’s a ball hawk and if you keep going after him, he won’t let you get away with those tactics.
While he might be the fastest corner, he’s smart and has incredible reach.
He’s amazing in coverage and fans saw this on Thursday night.
It’s his play which is keeping the Colts afloat in the AFC South, a division which is tight.
While the Matt Ryan trade hasn’t worked out as expected, the Gilmore signing is the saving grace of the Colts’ 2022 season.
His veteran savvy on defense is the main reason the Colts won on Thursday night.
Had it not been for him, the Colts won’t be 2-2-1 currently in the AFC South.