INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts Express is back on track after defeating the Houston Texans on Sunday, 24-21. As a result, quarterback Andrew Luck has once again been nominated for the NFL’s Week 14 FedEx Air Player of the Week award, as has linebacker Darius Leonard for Week 14 NFL Rookie of the Week.
The Colts were blanked against the Jacksonville Jaguars two weeks ago, 6-0, but got back up and beat the top team in the AFC South in Houston in Week 14.
Luck was 27-of-41 passing (65.9 percent) for 399 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He also had three carries for 19 yards if you don’t count three kneel-downs at the end of the game.
For his MVP-level performance against the Texans, you can click here to vote for Luck as the Week 14 FedEx Air Player of the Week as many times as possible.
His yardage total was Luck’s second-highest of the season and the fourth-highest of his career. His passing yards per attempt of 9.7 was his third-highest mark of the season. Also, with a passer rating of 103.6, it was the sixth time in the last seven games that Luck has compiled a passer rating of at least 100.
“He’s unbelievable like that, just a great leader. I’ve never — even when we’ve been at our worst this year, he’s always up on the sideline, always playing the next series,” Colts head coach Frank Reich said to reporters about Luck after the game.
This is the fourth time this season that Luck has been nominated for the FedEx Air Player of the Week award this season; he was voted the winnerafter his Week 12 performance in a win over the Miami Dolphins.
Luck’s recognition reaches beyond the FedEx award, however, as he also won AFC Offensive Player of the Week after the Colts’ Week 11 win over the Tennessee Titans, and he was also named the AFC Offensive Player of the Month for November by both the NFL and Pro Football Focus.
This is the fourth time that Leonard has been nominated for Rookie of the Week, winning it in Weeks 2 and 8. You can vote for him for this week's award as many times as possible by clicking here.
Against Houston on Sunday, he led all players with 12 tackles (one for loss), including nine solo tackles, to go along with one sack and a pass breakup. The sack was his seventh of the season, which is second among all rookies in the NFL — a very impressive number for an off-ball linebacker.
This was Leonard's sixth game of the season with at least 10 tackles, and his fifth with at least a dozen.
But Leonard's all-around skills were on full-display late on Sunday. With just less than three minutes remaining in the game and the Colts up 24-14, the Colts trusted their star rookie to guard one of the best receivers in the game in DeAndre Hopkins. The rook came through, batting the pass away.
Leonard's 135 tackles on the season leads the entire NFL by a wide margin, the next closest player being 17 away with 118 tackles. His four forced fumbles is also tied for third in the league.
“We know what kind of team we have. We know what kind of talent we have in the room. We don’t blink on defense," Leonard told reporters after the game. "Every week, we talk about being 1-0 and getting one percent better. We start in the fourth quarter, and we want to be 4-0 in the fourth quarter (of the season).”
Leonard — many people's frontrunner for NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year — has also brought in some other hardware throughout the season, being named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week in Week 2 as well as NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month for September.