Andrew Luck: Rookie QB Will Lead Colts to Playoffs

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Andrew Luck: Rookie QB Will Lead Colts to Playoffs
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Through nine weeks, Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts are in the driver's seat to capture a wild-card berth in the AFC.

Given the way Luck played against the Miami Dolphins last week, do you really think he's going to steer the Colts in the wrong direction?

Luck was so highly touted coming out of the 2012 NFL draft that his early struggles had people saying all kinds of things; that the Colts made the wrong choice at No. 1 overall, that Luck was proving to be over-hyped, that Robert Griffin III would be the best quarterback between the two moving forward.

Well, the third item is still up for debate, but it's hard to say the Colts made the wrong decision with Luck given they are currently 5-3 and in control of their own destiny in the AFC. This coming off a 2-14 campaign.

The Colts would be a wild-card team if the season ended today, along with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Dolphins and the inconsistent San Diego Chargers trail the Colts and Steelers by one game in the wild-card chase.

How has this all happened for the Colts? I mean, they were 2-3 and coming off an embarrassing 35-9 loss to the New York Jets headed into Week 7.

Well, Luck's improvement since Week 6 has something to do with it. He's averaged 8.0 yards per pass attempt while tossing three touchdowns to one interception in the Colts' last three wins. That includes when he went 30-48 for 433 yards and two touchdowns against the Dolphins last week.

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

With the Colts and Dolphins tied at 20 points apiece on Sunday in Indianapolis, Luck was pinned deep at his own six-yard line. He proceeded to lead the Colts on a 13-play, 69-yard drive that ended in the game-winning field goal with 5:58 remaining.

This was after Luck led the Colts to a late touchdown to tie the game against the Tennessee Titans the week before, only to win it with a touchdown in overtime.

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This is what true leaders do. They find ways to win. Granted, these wins came against the Dolphins, Titans and Cleveland Browns, but this was still a rookie leading his squad to three straight victories. That is no easy task in the NFL no matter who you play—especially considering Luck doesn't have a whole lot of talent on his team.

You look at the Colts' remaining schedule and they could conceivably beat the Jacksonville Jaguars (this week), the Buffalo Bills (Week 12), the Titans (Week 14) and the Kansas City Chiefs (Week 16).

If they win only those games, they finish with a 9-7 record, which—by my estimation—would see them capture a wild-card berth.

Of course, given the way Luck is improving, perhaps a 9-7 record by season's end is not giving him enough credit.

 

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