INDIANAPOLIS — After the Indianapolis Colts routed the Buffalo Bills last Sunday, 37-5, a couple of their players are up for some weekly NFL awards.
On Tuesday, starting running back Marlon Mack was announced as one of three nominees for the FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Week, which can be voted on by fans right here.
Likewise, rookie linebacker Darius Leonard is up for the NFL Rookie of the Week for the second time this season. He is one of five nominees that can be voted on here.
Mack had the best game of his career on Sunday, rushing 19 times for 126 yards (6.6 avg), one touchdown and a two-point conversion along with two receptions for 33 yards (16.5 avg) and another touchdown. He led a Colts offense that ran for a season-high 220 yards, a total that was also the team’s highest since 2007.
“He brings juice. I mean, he’s just a big play waiting to happen,” Colts head coach Frank Reich said about Mack after the game. “He turns five-yard runs into 15, 20-yard runs. We knew that going in, so we’re just getting him as many touches as we can.”
Against the Bills, Leonard had his fourth game with at least 10 tackles, as he totaled 17 tackles (12 solo) and a fumble recovery. He showed his sideline to sideline range, as he shut down several short passes and outside runs.
Leonard has been the NFL’s leader in tackles for most of the season, but he briefly lost the lead following last Thursday’s Week 7 matchup between the Arizona Cardinals and Denver Broncos.
On Sunday in Indianapolis, Leonard had already re-claimed the lead by halftime and now stands at 79 total tackles on the season — 12 ahead of the next closest defender.
Leonard’s high level of play is catching the eye of his veteran teammates.
“D (Darius Leonard) is playing at an extremely high level for a very young player, and that’s what we expect,” safety Mike Mitchell said after Sunday’s game. “That’s why he was drafted high, and that’s why he’s doing his thing.”
Leonard won the Rookie of the Week award earlier this season following his dominant performance over the Washington Redskins in Week 2, when he had 19 tackles, one sack and a forced fumble.
These awards can be voted on multiple times, so be sure that Mack and Leonard bring home the hardware!