INDIANAPOLIS — On Sunday against the Washington Redskins, the Indianapolis Colts got a defensive performance from linebacker Darius Leonard that they haven't seen in years from the position.
However, Leonard wasn't the only one to open some eyes, as the entire Colts defense shut down a Redskins offense that totaled 429 yards and 24 points the week before.
For a second consecutive week, the football analytic and grading service, Pro Football Focus, recognized the Colts' efforts. Here's how some of the top Indy players were graded after a review of the game film:
Linebacker No. 1 (92.6), 74 snaps (100 percent)
Leonard lived up to his nickname, "Maniac," Sunday when he put up 18 tackles, one sack, one forced fumble and a pass breakup.
He had the most tackles by a Colt since 2011 when linebacker Kavell Conner also had 18, and Leonard's 18 tackles are also the most by a Colts rookie since 1994.
His forced fumble was a critical one as the Redskins attempted to mount a comeback in the fourth quarter. Leonard nearly had another forced fumble earlier in the game, but it was overturned after review.
In total, PFF credited him with six "defensive stops," which they consider, "a tackle that constitutes a 'loss' for the offense."
To no surprise, Leonard — the NFL's top linebacker and fourth overall defensive player of the week — was on PFF’s Week 2 NFL Team of the Week.
Cornerback No. 6 (84.1), 56 snaps (76 percent)
After playing zero defensive snaps in Week 1, Desir didn't miss a beat in Week 2 as he returned to harass receivers.
He totaled four tackles (one for loss), two pass breakups and fumble recovery. Desir allowed catches on three-of-six targets for 29 yards (9.7 avg), which results in a passer rating of just 63.9.
PFF also credited Desir with two "defensive stops."
Desir's play of the day came with just under six minutes to go in the third quarter. With the Colts up 14-3 and the Redskins on the Colts' nine-yard line on third down, quarterback Alex Smith lofted a pass for receiver Josh Doctson into the back, left corner of the end zone. Doctson lept and snagged the ball, but Desir then got his left hand on the ball in between Doctson's hands and forced the ball out of his grasp, resulting in an incompletion. Instead of a touchdown, making it a one-score game, Washington would have to settle for a field goal.
Special Teamer No. 8 (83.0), 14 snaps (56 percent)
Another rookie linebacker making an impact, this time on specials teams.
Franklin only got a few snaps on defense, but he saw extensive action on special teams. He was a part of the coverage and return teams on both punts and kickoffs, registering one tackle in 14 special teams snaps.
Outside of just special teams tackle numbers, part of being a quality special teamer is making effective blocks with the return units, shedding your blocks on the coverage units, affecting the trajectory of the returner and overall being in the right place at the right time.