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AFC South All-22 Review: Andrew Luck Is Devastating When Throwing on the Run

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AFC South All-22 Review: Andrew Luck Is Devastating When Throwing on the Run
Thomas J. Russo-US PRESSWIRE
Luck is poetry in motion.

Andrew Luck is all the rage right now.

In Thursday's daily links, there was an entire section dedicated just to his play.

Of course, the AFC South Blog has been all over Luck since his first training camp practices.

Among the myriad of remarkable qualities Luck possesses, his most dynamic is his pocket presence. Luck is uncanny under pressure with an elite facility for avoiding the rush. He's tough in the pocket and does not break containment unless called on.

Against the Miami Dolphins in Week 9, Luck had a career day, thanks in part to the times when he did get outside the pocket.

When Luck gets outside the hash marks, defenses have to respect his foot speed. What makes him special is his eye level, however. Luck runs with his head high, looking to hit plays downfield.

A look at the All-22 tape from the game reveals that when forced outside the hash marks against the Dolphins, Luck was 6-of-7 for 100 yards and a touchdown. Those are throws made on the run outside the pocket. That kind of accuracy at this stage of his career is ridiculous.

Perhaps the biggest thing fans miss when they only see Luck on television is just how much he moves on every play. Luck has the ability to roll right or left and is accurate in both directions.

Note where Luck eventually winds up (red) when throwing this completion.

Luck's feet are always moving as he seeks to buy time. This is a quality that Peyton Manning always possessed. Early in Manning's career, however, he did not have Luck's ability to throw on the run.

After a devastating playoff loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers after the 2005 season, Manning rebuilt his game and developed the ability to throw while escaping the rush. Remarkably, he accomplished it in just one offseason.

Once he did, the Indianapolis Colts finally won a Super Bowl, and Manning would add two more MVP awards to his mantel.

Luck's ability isn't quite as honed as Manning's yet, but it comes much more naturally and much earlier in his development.

Luck got outside the pocket on this touchdown throw to T.Y. Hilton.

The biggest concern with Luck's game is that he'll enter the "Brett Favre Memorial Zone of Irrational Confidence." He nearly got there against the Dolphins. As the game wore on, Luck became too enamored with his ability to make impossible plays and nearly threw a game-changing pick late in the fourth quarter.

Luck's feet and unique throw-first mobility are an asset, but it will take time for him to learn the right balance between daring-do and Favreian excesses.

Fans everywhere should endeavor to see Luck play live as soon as possible. It's perhaps the only way to get a true sense of his accuracy-in-motion ability.

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