Indianapolis Colts linebacker Darius Leonard is not happy about being passed over for a spot on the AFC Pro Bowl roster, and he now intends to take his frustrations out on the New York Giants.
Hours after being snubbed by Pro Bowler voters, Leonard vowed to play with a chip on his shoulder and set an all-time NFL record in Week 16.
“He told me he wanted 40 tackles, but I told him it’s humanly impossible,” Colts tight end Eric Ebron said via ESPN. “He doesn’t care… Things like should really go by statistics rather than names. He’s one of the all-time great rookie linebackers statistically in a long time.”
Leonard, who is a tackling machine, leads the NFL with 146 tackles on the season, which is 22 more than the next closest on the list. There’s no denying his on-field prowess or the fact that he was deserving of the Pro Bowl, but 40 tackles in a game? That seems quite a bit more than optimistic.
“Like I always say, numbers don’t lie,” Colts receiver T.Y. Hilton said. “ is playing phenomenal, especially as a rookie. You just don’t see that.”
If Leonard were to record 40 tackles against the Giants, it might actually mean good things for Big Blue. Unless he was just dominating at the line of scrimmage, 40 tackles would signal a lot of Giants reaching the second level, a lot of passes in Leonard’s direction and a lot of 2nd-and-5s and 3rd-and-shorts.