Darius Leonard has developed into one of the better linebackers in the NFL. He is good in both pass and run defense and seems to have a nose for the football. After putting together 3 seasons of well over 100 tackles and 15 sacks over that span, it’s no wonder that Leonard is one of the best players at his position in the NFL (stats courtesy of ESPN.com).
Leonard doesn’t miss a lot of tackles and doesn’t make many mistakes on defense so Miami will have to be able to keep from becoming too one-dimensional to stand a chance against him. In the past few games, Miami has abandoned the run early and has had their quarterbacks drop back to pass a lot. This is going to be a problem going up against a linebacker like Leonard that is so good off the ball, especially when he knows that is coming. Beating Leonard means getting a lot of different looks on offense and not abandoning the run after only 10 attempts.
The rest of the Indianapolis’ defense is not super strong (except for one player who we will get to soon), so a good blend on offense can keep drives going for the Miami offense and use the South Florida heat to wear them down. If Miami can do that and they can catch Leonard a bit off his game as they move into the third and fourth quarters, they might have a very good chance at winning this game.