December 20, 2018 / 1:26 AM / 4 months ago

Colts LB Leonard aims for 40 tackles after Pro Bowl snub

Dec 16, 2018; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts linebacker Darius Leonard (53) reacts to a play against the Dallas Cowboys during the first quarter at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Texans: The winner of 10 of the last 11 games, Houston is focused on continuing its momentum through the regular season and then making a playoff run. Last weekend’s 29-22 victory over the New York Jets wasn’t a thing of beauty but star defensive end J.J. Watt isn’t much for appearances. “It really doesn’t matter how you win, you just have to win,” Watt said. “After this week’s game — we’ve kind of heard it all year, ‘This. That. They didn’t’ — we won. I don’t care. I don’t care how we win, I just want to win. I really don’t care. I don’t care if people think it’s pretty, I don’t care if they like it, if they don’t like it, I just want to win. I really do not care how we win.”

Indianapolis Colts: Rookie linebacker Darius Leonard leads the NFL with 146 tackles and was distressed over not making the Pro Bowl. The second-round pick from South Carolina State said his goal is to get 40 tackles in Sunday’s contest against the New York Giants. Being informed that would be almost impossible — the NFL record is 24 — Leonard didn’t back off. “Impossible? There is nothing impossible,” Leonard told reporters about the 40 tackles. “If you play a lot of snaps you’ve just got to get on every play possible.” Asked to rate his anger on a 1-to-10 scale when he learned of the snub, Leonard raised the ante. “Twenty,” Leonard shot back. “Just knowing that I put everything on film and still not enough. So I’ve just got to keep improving.”

Jacksonville Jaguars: Switching from Blake Bortles to Cody Kessler at quarterback hasn’t led to an improvement on offense. Instead, things have been even more bleak; Jacksonville has scored just one offensive touchdown in Kessler’s three starts. “The biggest thing this week is for us to score: put up points,” Kessler said. “That is something we haven’t been able to do and that falls on me. That is something we have to do these next (two) weeks, obviously starting this week.” Kessler said pride is his main motivation for the last two games as his future with the team being unclear. “Every year in the NFL, teams are going to change — not the same guys will be here next year, no matter where you are at in the NFL.”

Tennessee Titans: Running back Derrick Henry is on a roll with 408 yards over the past two games — he broke Earl Campbell’s franchise record of 405 — and it turned out he received a push former Titans star Eddie George. The two Heisman Trophy winners had a conversation in which George minced no words. “I was very honest,” George told reporters. “I said, look, it’s not about you hitting the home run. We know you can hit the home run. It’s what you can do consistently between the tackles, and it comes down to one fundamental thing. It comes down to you imposing your will on defenders. You are too big not to use that as your strength. You have to force guys to tackle you. Make one cut and go.” Said Henry: “He told me I wasn’t playing to my potential, and I could play better. That’s the stuff I needed to hear. It gave me a different outlook moving forward.”

—Field Level Media

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