Darius Leonard and the Indianapolis Colts are gearing up for one of their toughest games of the season this week. Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens are one of the top contenders in the AFC and the strong Colts’ defense will have their hands full.
Coming into this week’s matchup, the Colts have a 5-2 record and appear to have a chance to compete in the AFC. As for the Ravens, they also have a 5-2 record. The difference in this matchup could come in the shape of how the Colts defend against the reigning NFL MVP.
With a huge task at hand for the defense, Leonard opened up a bit about how the team needs to focus on playing this week.
“I think it’s more so just playing smart. You can’t play to make a play. You just have to play to do your job. As long as everyone does that, that’s the name of the game because once you go out and try to make a play, you want to do something that’s not really your job, that’s when things go south. It’s just basically being patient, doing your job and not trying to do too much extra stuff.”
On the season, Leonard has struggled to stay healthy. His return to the field last week was much needed for the Colts and he did not disappoint. Leonard ended up recording nine total tackles to go along with a sack and a forced fumble.
This week, the Colts will need to focus on stopping Jackson’s arm and his ability to run. Jackson is one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks that the NFL has seen in a long time.
While the Colts have their hands full, they are one of the few defenses in the league that can match up with Lamar Jackson and the Ravens. They have a lot of speed and can get to the quarterback. Their secondary has also stepped up and made some big plays this year.
If Darius Leonard and company can put pressure on Jackson while still containing him in the pocket, things will go well. However, if they can’t put pressure on him or if they let him get to the outside at will, this could be a very long game.
Expect to see the Colts come in with a top-notch game plan once again from defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus. Indianapolis will learn a lot about their defense in this game.