Andrew Luck: What to Expect from Indianapolis Colts' Rookie's First Start
Andrew Luck has looked every bit the part of a No. 1 overall pick through the preseason. He had moments of brilliance, and only one game where he struggled.
He threw two interceptions against the Pittsburgh Steelers on August 19, but he also lead three scoring drives, and allied a rushing touchdown as well.
The games will count for more than preparation now.
Julius Peppers is an elite pass-rusher, and if he dominates his various matchups on the defensive line, it will be a long day for Luck. Peppers will move inside and outside on the defensive line, and he must be accounted for.
The Bears defense has generally allowed a healthy amount of passing yardage. They were 28th in that category in 2011. Colts' fans will remember the bend but don't break philosophy from their days in the Tampa-2 scheme.
The Bears depend on forcing turnovers and getting pressure with their front-four. The Bears need the latter for the rest of their defensive scheme to work at its best
In 2011, the Bears were 6-2 in games that they forced two or more turnovers. The Bears will be looking to force Luck into mistakes at every turn. The rookie is smart, he'll do a good job in limiting those issues if he has time to throw the ball.
He won't have a great rushing attack to fall back on, though. The Bears were fifth in the NFL against the run last season, and they should be solid again this year. In addition to that, Donald Brown doesn't exactly strike fear in the hearts of men.
Luck's best chance at hurting the Bears' defense is with rookie tight end Coby Fleener. The Colts and Luck would be wise to test Brian Urlacher's ability to cover the fleet-footed rookie up the seam.
I'm predicting a Bears' victory, but Luck will make a good account of himself. A passer-rating of 85 with 250 yards, a touchdown and an interception in a losing cause seems realistic.
This may have move bumps then smooth spots, but Luck is the real deal.
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