Colts linebacker Darius Leonard holding a grudge against Buffalo is awesome.
The Indianapolis Colts’ defense will face a massive challenge on wild card weekend when it locks horns against quarterback Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills’ high-powered offense, which has been putting up points at an astronomical rate over the last several weeks.
For context, the Bills are averaging a league-best (and by a significant margin) 40.4 points across their last five games. While Indy’s defense tailed off from an efficiency standpoint down the stretch, it should still be considered one of the best units in the playoffs.
Despite their slumping form, however, we would all agree that the Colts have just the leader in linebacker Darius Leonard to help them conquer this mountain of a matchup, right? As if an upset against the No. 2 seed in the conference wasn’t enough motivation, the 25-year-old superstar just so happens to still be holding a grudge against Buffalo for passing on him in the 2018 draft.
For those who forget, the Bills were poised to select a linebacker three years ago and opted to draft Virginia Tech star Tremaine Edmunds at No. 16 overall, which was 19 picks before the Colts pounced on the grossly-overlooked Leonard with their first pick of the second round (No. 36 overall).
Both players have admittedly established themselves as foundational pieces for their respective franchises, but any reasonable football fan would acknowledge that Leonard has not only proven to be one of the steals of that draft, but one of the best pound-for-pound players from the loaded class…let alone a superior player to that of Buffalo’s third-year linebacker.
While Leonard has great respect for Edmunds both on and off the gridiron and shares a strong relationship with him, he admitted that it’ll be all business come Saturday afternoon. This quote about his grudge against Buffalo should have Colts fans absolutely buzzing for this showdown.
"“Every pick that was a linebacker ahead of me, I held that grudge,” Leonard told reporters this week. “We were at the Pro Bowl together, he’s a great guy. But on the field, I’m competing against the opposing offense, and I’m competing against him, because I have a point to prove.”"
In Leonard’s words weren’t enough to sell you on this mindset, he made things perfectly public with his social media activity on Thursday afternoon.
Y’all seen that video of the Bills loose and dancing at practice? Yeah. Him, too.
From reading social media slander to keeping the receipts of every linebacker who was drafted ahead of him in 2018, Leonard doesn’t have to search far and wide for motivation. He’s admitted to playing with a chip on his shoulder every week, and Colts fans should expect the same in the third playoff game of his young career this weekend.