The Luck of the Colts
By David Hollinshead, Contributor
When the Indianapolis Colts drafted quarterback Andrew Luck with the first pick of last April’s draft, they knew they were getting someone with superstar potential. There’s no way in hell they could’ve predicted that he would turn the team around like this so quickly. After finishing last season with only two wins, the Colts have jumped out to a 6–3 record halfway through the season after shellacking the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars 27–10. This turnaround is hugely thanks to Luck. Just for a small sample, against the Jaguars Luck completed 18 of 26 passes for 227 yards and ran for two touchdowns.
His stats on paper for the whole season don’t exactly proclaim superstar, with a decent 79.1 passer rating and 10 touchdowns to nine interceptions. He has thrown for 2,631 yards and had a huge week against the juggernaut Green Bay Packers when he threw for 362 yards and two touchdowns, bringing the final score to 30–27. If you look at the team surrounding him, you’ll find that Luck doesn’t have the star power to back him up either.
The best player around Luck is wide receiver Reggie Wayne, who is on the wrong side of 30, but is having an absolute blowout of a season. As Luck’s favourite target, Wayne already has 69 receptions for 931 yards and six touchdowns, putting him on pace for an astounding season of over 1,600 yards. Wayne is the only player on the Colts’ offense that can be looked at as a threat. Rookie receiver T.Y. Hilton was a third round draft pick, rookie tight end Coby Fleener came from Stanford with Luck and was on pace for a decent season before his injury, and none of their running backs can be considered “starting quality.”
He also does this with the extreme pressure hanging over him of competing with shoo-in Hall of Famer Peyton Manning. Any football fan knows what Manning has done over his career with the Colts, and as soon as it became apparent that Luck was going to be the future of the franchise, the comparisons started to roll in. In fact, Luck looks to surpass Manning’s rookie season. Manning threw for 3,739 yards with 26 touchdowns but only led his Colts to a 3–13 record and threw 28 interceptions. Look above to Luck’s stats now. He has already doubled Manning’s wins, looks to double his yards, and cut down his interceptions by several. He also has the Colts looking forward to the playoffs as they currently sit in the fifth seed, making them a wild card candidate. The expectations for Luck were unrealistically high, but he’s come in, shouldered the shadow of Manning off his back, and is proving he is the real deal.