Indianapolis Colts linebacker Darius Leonard has a question for members of the football world.
The Indianapolis Colts just moved to 8-6 and currently hold the fifth spot in the AFC playoff picture. A big reason for that is running back Jonathan Taylor, as he has rushed the Colts to eight victories and also himself into MVP conversations.
Indianapolis also has another player who should be in the conversation for a major award, but despite contributing to Indy’s wins like Taylor, his name has been overlooked. That player is Darius Leonard.
Leonard, who is one of the NFL’s best linebackers, has paced a defense that leads the league in takeaways. Of the Colts’ 31 takeaways, Leonard is responsible for 11, intercepting three passes, recovering three fumbles, and forcing an additional six fumbles.
Despite being a turnover-forcing Maniac, Leonard hasn’t received many National mentions as a Defensive Player of the Year candidate. Leonard’s absence from the conversations has led him to ask a question on Twitter that may cause many to rethink their candidates.
Darius Leonard compares stats with DPOY candidates
Many of the players who’ve been discussed for Defensive Player of the Year are defenders that have been getting after the quarterback this season. T.J. Watt with 17.5 sacks, Myles Garrett with 15, and Micah Parsons with 12.
While sacks are definitely important, Leonard brings up a good point: takeaways are huge, and many would rather have more takeaways than sacks.
That means it’s time for Darius Leonard’s name to enter into Defensive Player of the Year conversations. In addition to the 11 turnovers that Leonard has caused, he has recorded 107 tackles, seven pass deflections, and led this Colts defense all while battling a nagging ankle injury.
Leonard has been flying around all season making game-changing plays. His play and leadership are contagious and it’s a big reason why everyone on the defense has become infatuated with forcing turnovers.
The defense’s ability to take the ball away has been just as crucial to the Colts winning as Jonathan Taylor and the run game. It would be a disservice for the NFL community if they don’t start acknowledging the man that is the catalyst of it all.