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Darius Leonard Wins AFC DPoW

Written by Daniel Bragg

Rookie LB Wins Honor

Darius Leonard, rookie LB for the Indianapolis Colts, has been announced as the winner of AFC Defensive Player of the Week for Week 2 of the NFL season.

The Colts defeated the Washington Redskins 21-9 on Sunday, and Leonard was a huge part of the effort.  Leonard totaled 18 tackles, 15 of them being solo, 1 sack, and a forced fumble on Sunday against the Washington Redskins.  Leonard becomes the the fourth Colts rookie to earn Defensive Player of the Week honors, joining Steve Emtman(1992), Dwight Freeney(2002), and Jonathan Newsome(2014).

Improved Defense

When the Colts drafted Darius Leonard with their 2nd round pick in April, many fans were skeptical to spend such a high pick on a defensive player from South Carolina State.  However, since arriving in Indianapolis, Leonard has been considered the starting middle linebacker for a struggling Colts defense.  At least so far, that decision has proven to be a good one.  Through 2 weeks, he leads the NFL in tackles, and the Colts defense has been much better than many expected in the media and fans alike.

New Defensive Coordinator Matt Eberflus has seemed to revitalize the Indianapolis Colts defense, and the switch back to a 4-3 defense seems to have been a positive one since he arrived.  The Colts were thought to have one of the worst defenses in the NFL before the season, and it was a widely accepted belief that if the Colts were going to have any chances to win games in 2018, it was going to have to come from the arm of Andrew Luck.  Fortunately for the team, this has not been the case, and the improved defense has give Luck some time to work on removing the rust from missing all of 2017 with a shoulder injury.

Up next:

The Indianapolis Colts are 1-1, and if not for a rare untimely fumble from TE Jack Doyle in Week 1, could be 2-0 going into a tough matchup against the defending Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles.  The Eagles will be getting back their franchise QB Carson Wentz for the first time in 2018 on Sunday.  He’s likely to have rust, which could work to the Colts advantage if they play similar to how they played against the Redskins.  A win on Sunday for the Colts, and another stout game from this defense, would likely gain a lot of attention from people around the league.  We will have to wait and see though.

The game will kick off at 1PM at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.

About the author

Daniel Bragg