Indianapolis Colts’ LB Darius Leonard the X-Ingredient in Matchup vs. Baltimore Ravens

When talking referring to the Baltimore Ravens, the defense is now no longer the very very first thing that is talked about.

While the Ravens mute gain a extraordinarily wide defense in a position to taking on games, the fundamental focal level for opposing groups has turned to the electrical quarterback.

Lamar Jackson is one of basically the most delightful gamers to look in the NFL presently time. The 2019 unanimous NFL MVP has to be accounted for on every play with the flexibility to sling it downfield or rupture initiating a wide rush.

“With Lamar, there’s obviously the dart ingredient and extension of plays,” Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus acknowledged earlier this week. “I deem that the groups that cease a factual job, they’re ready to bustle forward and coordinate that and be ready to retain him in there. All the diagram thru the route of the sport, he’s consistently going to salvage out about a cases.”

He endured, “Then, the flexibility to – to your coverage, to be ready to occupy tight coverage downfield and plaster those gamers. Could occupy to you’re taking half in man, it’s loads less difficult, nonetheless whenever you happen to’re taking half in zone, you ought to mute be ready to cease that. That’s where he makes his wide plays and that’s where he’s been very successful. He’s done a factual job of throwing the ball in rhythm too. So, he’s a harmful athlete.”

As the Indianapolis Colts head to M&T Monetary institution Stadium to take dangle of on the Ravens on Monday Night Football this week, containing Jackson stands out as the tip precedence.

Sep 19, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indianapolis Colts outside linebacker Darius Leonard (53) incites the crowd in the first quarter against the Los Angeles Rams at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

In their matchup closing yr, Jackson had various success. He accomplished 19-for-23 (82.6%) for 170 yards thru the air to transfer alongside with 58 yards and a touchdown on the ground.

The Colts are dart to present Jackson extra of a topic this time around. Indy will extra than likely deploy a receive out about on Jackson on most plays to make certain he doesn’t rupture out the pocket and burn them for gargantuan plays.

Who stands out as the receive out about you save a query to? None as a change of All-Pro linebacker Darius Leonard.

The begin as a lot as the 2021 season for Leonard has no longer been what we are familiar with seeing from him. The tackling machine handiest has 25 tackles thru the first four games this yr, which is on the low side for Leonard.

The principle motive we now haven’t considered Leonard occupy as wide of an impression is that he, love many on the Colts’ roster, is no longer at 100%. Leonard had surgical operation on his ankle at some level of the offseason and is mute no longer fully recovered. While it has no longer brought about him to miss a sport, Leonard is no longer practically as like a flash as he on the total is.

“(The ankle’s) getting there,” Leonard acknowledged Sunday after the accumulate in opposition to the Dolphins. “It is correct taking a mode of time. I deem this week of note truly helped out on Wednesday, then Thursday changed into rather of slower, then Friday came and flying guys in, correct being on top of it. That is the fundamental thing. You occupy obtained to be sure you understand what’s the downside, understand what it is, and take into accout that it is in all probability you’ll presumably possibly possibly want obtained to maintain it.”

Leonard did take into myth better in opposition to the Dolphins in terms of his velocity and mobility. He’s going to utterly occupy to take dangle of that up a notch in opposition to the Ravens.

While no longer at 100%, the playmaking ability Leonard possesses has mute been on fleshy show camouflage. “The Maniac” has been extremely taking into consideration about generating turnovers with an interception, a compelled fumble, and a fumble recovery to this level in 2021. His playmaking ability is one of many qualities that makes him so precious to the Colts’ defense.

Closing yr in opposition to the Ravens, Leonard tried his handiest to step up and prevent Jackson. Leonard led the team with 13 tackles, nonetheless the Ravens mute came out on top 24-10. Sparkling Leonard, he’s taking this as a personal topic to make certain Jackson doesn’t occupy that kind of success again.

Indianapolis Colts outside linebacker Darius Leonard (53) runs back his fourth quarter interception, Miami Dolphins at Indianapolis Colts, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019. Colts lost 16-12 and drop to 5-4. Dolphins At Colts

Basically the most indispensable for Leonard will doubtless be staying disciplined. While he will absolutely receive out about Jackson at cases, he will also occupy to be attentive to the Ravens’ receivers that come into his home. Leonard has struggled at cases in coverage this yr, and the Ravens will take into myth to take dangle of advantage if he isn’t prepared.

The Ravens also boast the third-handiest rushing offense in the league. Working backs Ty’Son Williams, Latavius Murray, and Devonta Freeman pack a extremely effective punch subsequent to Jackson in the operating sport. Leonard will also occupy a a have to occupy role in no longer letting the Ravens’ backs salvage free for monumental features.

So some distance this season, the Colts occupy allowed factual quarterbacks to salvage the handiest of them. Russell Wilson, Matthew Stafford, and Ryan Tannehill occupy all had success in opposition to a struggling Colts defense. For Jackson to no longer continue this style, it will in all probability presumably possibly possibly correct snatch a Maniac to cease him.

Secure solutions on the X-ingredient matchup between the Indianapolis Colts and Baltimore Ravens Monday evening? Drop a line in the comments piece below letting us know the diagram you would smartly be feeling! 

Discover Andrew on Twitter @AndrewMooreSI.

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