Andrew Luck: How QB Can Make Indianapolis Colts Unlikely Playoff Contenders
If you were watching the thrilling Colts-Packers game in Indianapolis this Sunday, you saw the birth of a star in Andrew Luck.
Luck had played pretty well through three games, but it was his performance in his fourth start that he can look back on as his true coming-out party.
Against a very good Packers team, Luck displayed an ability to make every NFL throw, evade pressure and lead a fourth-quarter comeback. It was a pristine outing, a game that couldn’t be defined simply by the final score.
NFL fans are smart. But there seems to be an overriding notion that the Colts really missed out on Robert Griffin III by drafting Luck. Fans love RGIII’s glitz and his ability to run very fast. Plus, Luck is compared to Peyton Manning so often that the fans identify him as a straight-drop pocket-passer with limited mobility.
The opposite is true. Luck was the fourth-fastest quarterback at the combine, had the fourth-highest vertical and the longest broad jump.
Andrew Luck is as athletic as any quarterback that has ever been in the league; he’s certainly more athletic than Peyton Manning. If you need any proof, just check out this play from his days at Stanford.
The Colts are not a great team. They don’t have a huge amount of talent, especially on offense where the only legitimate threat is Reggie Wayne. But Luck alone makes them better.
This was proven in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game, when Luck showed poise beyond his years in helping the Colts to a comeback win.
He had a throw to Wayne where he dodged defenders and kept the play alive for a good five seconds. He had a first-down scramble where he split two linebackers who should have stopped him short. And he threw an absolute bullet on a quick in-route to Wayne, who stretched the ball over the goal line for the score.
Luck proved Sunday that he could carry the Colts.
Remember, this team was 2-14 last year. They were terrible. And Luck has already led them to two wins in four weeks.
He has a weapon in Reggie Wayne that most rookie quarterbacks would die for–a future-Hall-of-Famer with possession skills and deep ball abilities. Also, Luck has familiarity with tight end Coby Fleener, who played with him at Stanford.
If there’s anything Luck needs to work on, it’s being a little more efficient. His completion percentage needs to rise a little bit, and he needs to cut down on interceptions and risky throws (even though not all of those picks were his fault).
But we’re dealing with minutiae. The fact is, Luck ranks 10th in the NFL in passing attempts (and he’s played one less game than everyone above him) and ranks third in the league in passing-yards per game. That means the Colts trust him enough to give him the keys to the offense.
For any fans doubting the Colts’ choice to select Luck, calm down. The guy is an absolute stud. He’s years beyond his age and he has a gun for an arm. He reads the defense like a book and is more mobile than 90 percent of the signal callers in the league.
He’s the ideal quarterback, and the Colts couldn’t be in better hands.
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