Darius Leonard reveals the reason for Colts epic collapse
Indianapolis Colts leader, Darius Leonard, shares what he believes is the reason for Indy’s meltdown at the end of the season.
At a point in the 2021 NFL season, it looked like the Indianapolis Colts had a serious chance to play in this season’s Super Bowl. That point was in Week 16.
In the 10 weeks from Week 6 to Week 16, Indy was 8-2 and recorded impressive wins over some of the league’s best teams. The offense was performing as one of the top units in the NFL and the defense was taking the ball away from everybody.
Following Week 16, the Colts had two games left and needed just one win to secure a spot in the playoffs. Obviously, they didn’t make the postseason.
Instead, Indy ended the year with two heartbreaking and embarrassing losses, one to the Las Vegas Raiders and one to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The end-of-season collapse left everyone wondering what happened to the team that was playing at a level that no opposing team wanted to see in the playoffs.
During Super Bowl weekend, Colts linebacker, Darius Leonard, took time to answer that question.
Darius Leonard says Colts got too comfortable
The Week 16 win over the Arizona Cardinals is when everyone stamped Indianapolis as a serious contender. It turns out the problem was that Indy bought into the hype and also stamped themselves as contenders.
It’s nothing wrong with believing in the team’s ability, but it is a thin line between belief and becoming too full of oneself when goals have yet to be accomplished. Leonard makes it seem like the Colts fell into the latter identity.
Leonard told Pat McAfee, “Once you start winning a lot of games, people stop focusing on the little small things, the small little details.” As demonstrated with Indianapolis, the small details can amount to big outcomes.
Based on Leonard’s words, Indy wasn’t practicing with the same focus and intensity that led to the dominant run. He says the team adopted a “we can’t lose” mentality without the necessary work.
This aligns with a clip from the Colts’ time on Hard Knocks, where Leonard gave an impassioned speech to the defense about being great in practice so the team can accomplish its goals.
Evidently, guys didn’t get the message, because Indianapolis fell short of its goals. While that may have been disappointing, Leonard says that he is both upset and glad that the season ended the way it did.
Obviously, he would have loved to be playing for a chance to hoist the Lombardi Trophy, but he feels the Colts were delivered a necessary lesson. Hopefully, the embarrassment fuels Indianapolis to never take its foot off the pedal next season.