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Analyzing Andrew Luck's Offensive Weapons Through Preseason Week 3

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Analyzing Andrew Luck's Offensive Weapons Through Preseason Week 3
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The sample size is obviously very small, but Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck has made believers out of most NFL followers.

In three preseason games, Luck has thrown for 514 yards on 62.5 percent passing and three touchdowns. Considering his average offensive line and limited weapons in the passing game, Luck's numbers start looking a lot more polished. 

You couldn't count on one hand how many times Luck has had to cleverly escape the pocket or make a play with his feet because protection has broke down. The fact that he has only been sacked three times is a minor miracle. 

Still, not all is dark and gloomy for the Colts in 2012. While still growing, the offense does have some talent around Luck. 

Here's a look at how Luck's offensive weapons have looked through three preseason games in 2012:

 

WR Reggie Wayne

The Colts are keeping the 33-year-old receiver on the move in their offensive sets so far this preseason. It's not something we've seen a lot of from Wayne in the past, so there's reason to think he's still going to play a big factor in the Colts offense in 2012.

Jason Bridge-US PRESSWIRE
Wayne is the veteran of the receiving group in Indy.

Collie's unpredictable injury history makes it a near certainty. In three games, Wayne has nine catches for 115 yards. With Collie out of the Colts' second preseason game, Wayne caught six passes (nine targets) for 72 yards. Expect the targets to be there for Wayne in 2012. 

 

WR T.Y. Hilton

A third-round pick out of Florida International, Hilton has been one of the preseason standouts in Indianapolis. His combination of hands and speed are probably the best the Colts receiving corps has to offer, and he has been seeing most of his time as the team's No. 3 receiver.

Hilton is still raw, and there will be hiccups along the way, but he has real playmaking talent. His preseason stats include nine catches for 116 yards and one score. 

 

WR Austin Collie

Collie made a big splash to open the preseason when he started against the St. Louis Rams and caught three passes for 45 yards and a score. Luck targeted Collie a team-high five times, and there appeared to be chemistry between the two. 

A concussion has kept Collie out since Week 2, but he could be back in time for the regular season opener. Having him in the starting lineup would be a big boost to a team that is very thin at receiver to begin 2012. 

 

TE Coby Fleener

The Colts drafted Fleener with the first pick in the second round to be their version of Rob Gronkowski. At 6'6" and 250 pounds—and with still underrated athleticism—Fleener fits the bill. 

So far in the preseason, Fleener has been mostly quiet. He has just four catches for 38 yards, including a 24-yard reception. Still, Fleener is going to start every game in 2012 as the in-line tight end in Indianapolis. 

Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE
Fleener (back) went to Stanford with Luck and should develop into one of his favorite targets.

Keep in mind, Gronkowski caught 42 passes for 546 yards and 10 touchdowns as a rookie in 2010. Fleener should approach both the reception and yards numbers, but double-digit touchdowns might be pushing it. 

 

TE Dwayne Allen

Think of Allen as the Colts' version of Aaron Hernandez in New England, a "move" tight end who lines up in several positions depending on the formation.

He has been even more quiet than Fleener in this preseason, catching just two passes for 18 yards. He has also ran once for three yards. But in Allen's defense, he has a lot on his plate in terms of learning his role in the Colts offense. 

Judging by Allen's jack-of-all-trades role, one could reasonably predict Allen could out-produce Fleener as a rookie tight end. His ceiling is high.

 

RB Donald Brown

After three preseason games, it remains clear that Brown will be the Colts' lead back in 2012. He has carried 15 times for 40 yards (2.7 yards/game) and a touchdown with the first-team offense. 

The Colts offensive line is one of the NFL's worst, however, so Brown will struggle to find much in terms of holes this season.

Against the Washington Redskins Saturday, Brown had nothing in front of him and finished with just eight yards and seven carries. He will be hamstrung by the Colts' front-five on the offensive line. 

 

RB Vick Ballard

Don't sleep on Ballard, who has earned himself a role on this offense as a rookie. He'll likely enter 2012 as the team's backup running back.

Like Brown, however, Ballard found a tough go of things Saturday, as the Redskins defensive front man-handled the Colts offensive line. He also finished with just eight yards on seven carries. 

He may provide more in terms of running ability than Brown, but the Colts running game is going to struggle with their offensive line as it is currently constructed. 

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