Andrew Luck: Balanced Offense Is Key to Rookie QB's Success

David Daniels@TheRealDDanielsSenior Writer IOctober 29, 2012

NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 28:  Running back Vick Ballard #33 of the Indianapolis Colts and teammate quarterback Andrew Luck #12 celebrate an overtime victory over the Tennessee Titans at LP Field on October 28, 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Andrew Luck isn’t Superman yet.

The rookie quarterback has led the Indianapolis Colts to a 4-3 record—a feat that’s extremely impressive, considering they only won two games in 2012. But there’s a distinct difference between their wins and losses this season.

When the Colts keep their opponents honest with a consistent ground game, Luck finishes them off through the air. He struggles, though, when they force him to single-handedly carry the offense. That’s why, to put Luck in the best position to succeed—and even sneak into the playoffs—Indy must run a balanced attack.

The Associated Press reported that interim coach Bruce Arians raved about Luck following the Colts’ 19-13 comeback victory over the Tennessee Titans. He said (via the Washington Post):

Andrew, I thought, was fantastic. He is a big strong young man, and he can throw the football from any position accurately. He did a good job of avoiding rushes and making completions, especially on third down.

Luck completed 26 of 38 passes on the afternoon for 297 yards. Because he’s so talented, it’s easy to fall in love with the passing game as a play-caller. Arians must resist that temptation, though.

Sunday marked just the second game of the season in which Luck attempted more than 31 passes and Indianapolis walked away triumphant. It’s also now 3-0 when he throws fewer than 39 balls. The only contest the Colts won when Luck threw more was their miraculous comeback against the Green Bay Packers.

Donald Brown and Vick Ballard have shown the ability to be capable halfbacks this year. Brown is averaging 4.3 yards a pop, and Ballard has racked up 174 yards from scrimmage over the past two weeks. Indy must continue to feed them, because Luck is at his best when he doesn’t have to do it all.

David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.


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