If he’s supposed to play like a rookie, someone must’ve not told Jonathan Newsome. The pass rushing rookie outside linebacker out of Ball State University put on a defensive showcase on Monday Night Football, as he finished with 7 tackles, 2 sacks, and 1 QB Hit.
Aug 28, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Indianapolis Colts defensive end Jonathan Newsome (91) against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Newsome played on 46 of the defense’s 78 total snaps (59%) according to ProFootballFocus (PFF), showing natural pass rushing ability in the process.
In fact, with OLB Robert Mathis out for the season, one could make a strong argument that Newsome is the Colts’ best natural pass rusher at this juncture. He’s played well in limited opportunity all season, but on Monday Night Football, he was fully unleashed with starting OLB Erik Walden inactive because of a hip injury. Give credit to Newsome too, he didn’t just accept the opportunity, he made the most of it.
Newsome was simply gruesome to Eli Manning and the Giants’ offense on Monday Night. He must not like candy and gone out “Trick or Treating” this past Friday night for Halloween because he clearly saved his best “predator” costume for Monday Night Football. Eli Manning was simply being big-game hunted by Newsome all night, who shined in an expanded pass rushing role on a national stage to boot.
His biggest play came when with 5:31 left in the 3rd quarter, he beat Giants’ tackle William Beatty to the outside and strip-sacked QB Eli Manning for a fumble that the Colts’ defense ultimately recovered. It was the final nail in the Giants’ “comeback coffin” of what little hope remained of them winning. It was simply “Robert Mathis-esque” to say the least.
“According to PFF, Newsome received a +2.7 overall grade, which was the highest grade received among all Colts’ linebackers on Monday night.”
Against the Giants, the Colts largely utilized Newsome as part of a situational platoon, along with teammate Andy Studebaker at Walden’s vacant outside linebacker spot. Studebaker handled the majority of running downs, while Newsome replaced him in assumed passing downs. Studebaker played in 39 of the defense’s 78 total snaps (50%), while also rotating in a few reps for the defense’s other starting OLB Bjoern Werner.
Newsome didn’t just put up a few gaudy stats either, as he played a genuinely good overall game. According to PFF, Newsome received a +2.7 overall grade, which was the highest grade received among all Colts’ linebackers on Monday night.
If the best is still yet to come for young Jonathan Newsome, then Colts’ fans are in for a rare treat…and unlike Newsome, we have a sweet tooth.
Nov 3, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants running back Peyton Hillis (33) is stopped short of goal line by Indianapolis Colts inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman (50) and linebacker Jonathan Newsome (right) at MetLife Stadium. Indianapolis Colts defeat the New York Giants 40-24. Mandatory Credit: Jim O