It has been announced today that Indianapolis Colts inside linebacker D’Qwell Jackson has been named AFC Defensive Player of the Week. Jackson had 11 tackles (TFL), 1 pass deflection, and a 35-yard fumble return for a touchdown in this past Sunday’s 49-27 win against the Washington Redskins.
Due to his stellar performance, Jackson was also named one of our “Horseshoe Heroes” of the week:
"“Jackson was making plays all over the middle of the field, as he finished with 10 tackles (6 solo) and 1 sack. The biggest defensive play of the day came when with 7:30 left in the 3rd quarter, Jackson scooped up a fumble from an Erik Walden strip-sack on 4th and short and took the ball the other way 35 yards for a touchdown, sealing the Colts’ victory.Even the advanced statistics provided by ProFootballFocus graded out Jackson favorably, as he had a +1.9 overall rating, including a +2.1 in pass coverage. It’s worth noting that his pass coverage grade on Sunday was Jackson’s best of the season, as it’s been an area he has largely struggled in all year up to this point.”"
Nov 30, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts linebacker D’Qwell Jackson (52) picks up a fumble and runs it in a for a touchdown against the Washington Redskins at Lucas Oil Stadium. Indianapolis defeated Washington 49-27. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Jackson’s struggles in coverage are well-documented, as they are for the rest of the team’s linebackers; however, he’s been a “tackling-machine” for the Colts this season. He leads the team in tackles with 101 on the season, including 59 solo tackles. He has recorded double-digit tackle games in his past 3 games, and 6 double-digit tackle games on the season.
While he may not be the same player he was, say 3-4 seasons ago, the 9-year veteran has provided leadership and stability in the middle of the Colts’ defense. Last season, the defense struggled with inconsistency, as both Pat Angerer (9 starts) and Kelvin Sheppard (6 starts) were up-and-down in their performance. From that standpoint, Jackson has been a solidifying presence, playing alonside fellow starting inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman. Hopefully, he continues to play at an exceptional level.