Last offseason, when I was criticized for predicting a statistical decline for Colts quarterback, Andrew Luck, I obviously had no idea the injury scenarios he would face over the course of the season.
As a matter of fact, in the first three seasons of his NFL career, Andrew Luck shone brightly as he was able to start each of the team’s forty eight games, and his injury history in college had little to speak of as well.
What I did see however, was that the Colts who had just ridden Luck’s arm to three, 11-5 seasons in a row, had once again failed to get him any help on defense.
Instead, they added two aging veterans, Frank Gore and Andre Johnson, who were both nearing the end of their respective careers, to an offense much in need of youth and potential.
It seemed like a nightmare scenario for a team who had already exhausted themselves trying to outlast opponents on the sheer will and determination of their young quarterback.
“Part of it I brought upon myself for not sliding in certain situations,” Luck said, in reference to the lacerated kidney and torn abdominal muscle that sidelined him in 2015. “There’s a time and a place for taking a hit; I’m not going to apologize in that sense, because sometimes it’s appropriate. But sliding is something I need to improve on, but we’ve talked about that before. It’s no secret.”
What he didn’t tell you, was that type of reckless abandon became necessary if he was going to have any chance to win with a team that gave him very little support.
And if we’ve learned anything about Andrew Luck in the last four years, it’s that he is a fierce competitor, and he will win at any cost.
Nothing speaks louder in that regard, then Andrew Luck’s 3-1 record against former Indianapolis Colts and fellow number one overall draft pick, Peyton Manning.
The Broncos were the better team coming into all of those match ups, but Luck was usually the more determined quarterback and notched the biggest victory of his young career, when he beat Manning and the Broncos, 24-13, in the divisional round of the 2014 playoffs.
You would think after seeing that they are dealing with a player loaded with super star talent, that the Colts would do whatever they could to make his job easier.
However, they once again failed to strengthen a defensive unit, who finished 26th overall in total yards, 24th in passing yards, 25th in rushing yards and points allowed, as they gave up an average of 25.5 points a game to opponents.
Imagine how well he would do if he actually played for an organization that knew how to build a young team around him. That was strucutured to slow down the other team instead of making him have to outgun them every single game.
The Colts still have time to realize the mistakes they made in taking a win now approach with a young quarterback, instead of putting the pieces around him to form the future. However, if they don’t start soon…
They will find themselves running out of Luck.