While Luck did have two turnovers inside the Jaguars' red zone last Thursday night, the ebbs and flows of every rookie quarterback are starting to even out for the No. 1 overall pick.
Luck completed 18 of 26 passes for 227 yards and an interception, good for a passer rating of 80.1 and a very high QBR of 93.7. In each of his the last three games—all Colts wins—Luck has completed at least 60 percent of his passes, thrown for over 200 yards and finished with a passer rating over 80.0.
Luck hasn't been consistently off the charts, like he was during spurts in wins over the Minnesota Vikings, Green Bay Packers and Miami Dolphins. But slowly, the expectations week-in and week-out are being consistently fulfilled.
Here are the stat lines for each of Luck's last three games:
- At Tennessee (W 19-13): 26-of-38 (68.4 percent) for 297 yards (7.82 yards/attempt), one touchdown and one interception. 68.2 QBR, 89.5 passer rating.
- Miami (W 23-20): 30-of-48 (62.5) for 433 yards (9.02), two touchdowns and zero interceptions. 89.1 QBR, 105.6 passer rating.
- At Jacksonville (W 27-10): 18-of-26 (69.2) for 227 yards (8.73), zero touchdowns and one interception. 93.7 QBR, 80.1 passer rating.
Other rookie quarterbacks, such as Ryan Tannehill, Russell Wilson and even Robert Griffin III, have started suffering through some growing pains. Luck appears to be gaining consistency as the season drags on.
Part of that consistency certainly has to do with quality of opponent, as the Colts have played five straight teams that currently have a losing record. But there's no discounting that Luck's physical and mental skills are growing and developing into an overall skill set that may be unmatched in the last decade or so of rookie quarterbacks.
Now, that consistency and improvement has to maintain during a difficult stretch of games over the second half of the season.
The Colts start that stretch Sunday in New England, a place where the former quarterback in Indianapolis waged a number of memorable showdowns with Tom Brady and the Patriots. Even this early, the game is very important in terms of playoff positioning in the AFC. How Luck plays at the quarterback position will determine whether Indianapolis is capable of playing with one of the NFL's giants.
Games against Buffalo, Detroit, Tennessee and Kansas City over the final seven games gives Luck and the Colts a realistic chance at reaching 10 wins and securing a playoff spot. But that chance is largely dependent on how consistent Luck can be over the second half.
Matchups with New England Sunday and two bouts with Houston—in Weeks 15 and 17—will give Luck's confidence all it can handle.
We know Andrew Luck is a rare rookie quarterback. His physical and mental skills are as good right now as 90 percent of NFL players at the position.
But for a young player, consistency is a difficult trait to master. Luck is well on his way over the last three games, but when the playoff pressure heats up, and the big boys in the AFC come calling, the Colts rookie quarterback needs to once again meet the consistency challenge.
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