Luck has, no doubt, been the key that the Colts have needed in order to get back to winning form. Through eight games, Luck has had a 56.5 completion percentage with 10 touchdowns and a total of 2,404 yards.
Hooking up with Reggie Wayne every week has certainly helped Luck in his rookie season, and it gives the Colts a pretty solid passing attack.
However, in the NFL, it takes more than that in order to stay competitive. While the NFL is now a passing league, the importance of running cannot be forgotten.
So far, Colts running back Donald Brown has 74 rushing attempts for 319 yards and only one touchdown.
Even though Luck has done well so far this year, there are five reasons the Colts' running attack needs to get better in order to help Luck and Indianapolis remain successful.
Luck has thrown for many yards and amassed 10 touchdowns this season, but he has also thrown eight interceptions.
There have been numerous times that, while he has completed successful passes in tight coverage, Luck has been nearly picked off in almost every game, which leads to questions about how many more times he can make those plays successfully.
This is where the running game comes into play and helps Luck and the receivers. If the run could get a few first downs and a couple of big yardage plays often, there would be less pressure on the quarterback to make big plays and force questionable throws.
In 2012, Andrew Luck has been sacked 19 times for a loss of 124 yards. Even though this is not alarming, it can be coupled with offensive line woes and Luck's rookie mistakes of holding on to the ball too long.
Sacks are a part of the NFL, and they happen to every quarterback. Field position and ability to convert first downs are what offset the sack, and the running attack is crucial here.
The Colts need their run to get the good field position so in the event of a loss due to a sack, Luck doesn't have to scramble to convert the long first down and cover more ground than he has to in order to record six.
The run also needs to be able to cover that lost yardage from a sack because while the Colts rely on Luck to make that big-gain throw, it would be easier for them to run than to risk the interception or the incompletion that forces the Colts to punt.
Every football fan knows the run sets up play-action, and the Colts need this to stay fresh.
As talented as Luck and Wayne are, defenses around the league will learn to expect the Colts to throw more often than not because of their unreliable run game.
This leads to predictability, which is never good for a team looking to stay competitive. The Colts can only go so far throwing the ball to win before defenses read the Colts' receivers' patterns.
There are teams in the NFL that have a tough time defending the run, which is something the Colts can take advantage of while piling on the passing yards.
The running game is the foundation for a good game plan, and teams like the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots have trouble defending it.
While the run is designed to set up good field position and play action, long yardage gains are a nice treat. Combining a strong running game with a strong passing attack will create the recipe for success that the Colts need.
If the Colts are able to dominate and put teams in the hole early with the run, Luck and the offense will have all the time in the world to put the icing on the cake for easy wins. At a minimum, they will have room to work without being under pressure to create game-winning drives in the fourth quarter.
The theme of this article has been consistent: A well-rounded Colts with a razor-sharp passing game and hard-hitting running attack will make the Colts legitimate Super Bowl contenders.
Today, teams may get lucky, but being good at just one facet of the game of football will not help in the long haul, especially when teams like the Falcons and Texans are firing on all cylinders.
Andrew Luck has definitely given the Colts franchise a much-needed boost, and he already has established himself as the long-term Colts quarterback. Already one of the best rookies in recent history, Luck will become one of the best in the league with experience.
This season, the Colts have a chance to not only make the playoffs but also to win a postseason game. However, as stated above, running into the Texans or the Patriots would make the Colts wish they were a more well-rounded team—something they will need to work on if they want to make it all the way.