Breaking Down Andrew Luck's Form at the NFL's Midseason Mark
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The first-overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft has shown immense versatility and routinely underrated athleticism.
His accuracy has been inconsistent at times, but that's to be expected with such shaky offensive-line play.
Overall, his play has been borderline spectacular, given the lackluster talent surrounding him in Indy. Let's examine his season more closely.
Pocket Presence: B
Tough to grade this one, as Luck's awareness in the pocket has fluctuated at times. Through the first three games of the season, Indy's trigger man was remarkably adept at avoiding the rush. He took only five sacks during that time despite facing immense pressure.
In the three games since, however, the former Stanford Cardinal has taken 11 sacks. Seven of them have come in the last two contests where he's thrown two interceptions and no touchdowns. In fairness, he did record two rushing scores against the Cleveland Browns.
Though he's struggled a bit lately, Indy's quarterback has already shown a knack for avoiding the rush and making difficult throws. He'll be just fine.
Considering his 53.6 percent completion rate, this might be a bit generous. The fact is, Luck hasn't been consistent in his deliveries. Indy's offensive line hasn't given him a ton of time to operate, leading to a variety of releases that are far from textbook.
Luck is throwing off-balance, outside the pocket, on the run and even falling down. He's throwing from off his spot more often than not and hasn't been able to get into a rhythm.
That rhythm is what allows guys like Aaron Rodgers to have unreal performances. Quarterbacks get into a zone where they see everything in slow motion; then they pick apart defenses like straight to DVD movie plots.
Constantly forced to move his feet, Luck has yet to find that groove. He will get there, but for now his accuracy will suffer.
Decision Making: B+
Another up-and-down category for Luck. However, most of his hiccups can be attributed to the play of those around him.
Outside of the game against the Chicago Bears, Luck has been superb in his decision-making. He quickly learned that Reggie Wayne is far and away his most talented receiver, which has led to a resurgence of Wayne's career.
When Wayne has been covered by top-tier corners, such as Antonio Cromartie and Joe Haden, Luck has been overconfident in his man. This overconfidence has led to a number of interceptions. Cromartie took two picks to the house, both of which were called back for penalties. Nevertheless, Luck shouldn't have thrown those passes to begin with.
Again, many of his errors can be traced to unreliable play by the offensive line. Luck doesn't have as much time to survey the field as most quarterbacks, and that causes him to panic at times.
Any fan of football can appreciate what Luck has done in clutch situations so far.
Rookies don't look like this guy has so far. And yet, he's doing it.
In half of his career games, Luck has led the Colts to go-ahead points with under a minute remaining. Clearly, Luck is comfortable leading the offense in pressure situations.
This guy is money. The stat sheet isn't showing it yet, but Andrew Luck is exactly what we thought he was. He's prepared every week and is wise beyond his years. His natural talent has taken this team to more wins through six games than Indy had all of last year.
Luck is ready to lead this franchise back to glory. The question of when is not one for him, but for the talent around him. When the offensive line and the defense reach the next level, so will the Colts.
No. 12 is already there.
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