NFL

The Colts are wasting the best of Andrew Luck

on

This season has proven two things when it comes to Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck.

First, 2015 was an outlier and he’s really as good as we thought he was. You can tell not just by the stats, but by the way he is bailing his team out of ridiculous situations for wins again this year.

Secondly, the Colts are wasting Andrew Luck’s best years.

This is something the Colts have already done once to a quarterback by the name of Peyton Manning. Owner Jim Irsay can say all he wants that Luck will win them more Super Bowls, but it doesn’t look like that is in the offing. That’s not on Luck, any more than it was on Manning.

It’s interesting to wonder  – if we went back and looked, would Manning’s seasons be filled with as many wins carried by his arm because the defense was non-existent?

Andrew_Luck_Colts_2014_5

Putting the ghost of Peyton Manning aside, Luck has been abandoned by ownership and it’s a waste. They know what they have and they’ve given him the skill players to do what he does—they have Donte Moncrief and TY Hilton, they signed the ageless Frank Gore—but they forgot to give him an offensive line worth the name and haven’t bothered to build a defense.

Why do those things matter, you ask? After all, they are winning.

Well, because winning games, while nice, isn’t the point. The point is winning Super Bowls and that will not happen while the Colts feature one of the worst defenses in the NFL.

Even the ‘winning games’ part isn’t working out. How else can you explain the 6-6 overall record or the 2-2 record in an awful division?

Luck and the offense (which is pretty much all Luck) average 25.9 points a game, the seventh-highest average in the NFL.  Unfortunately, the defense allows the exact same number (which is, to be honest, freaky as heck), which is good for eighth highest allowed in the NFL.

No wonder Andrew Luck tends to look like a man frantically bailing water out of a row boat filled with holes, surrounded by sharks.

He constantly has to make up for a bad offense. Meanwhile, his offensive line has allowed him to be sacked 39 times (second-most in the NFL) and hit 96 times overall (second-most in the NFL).

Now stop for a moment and consider what he’s been able to do despite that. Luck has thrown 403 passes, completing 258 of them (for a 64 percent completion percentage), for a total of 3,105 yards and 23 touchdowns, while only throwing 8 interceptions.

Imagine if they got the anchor off of his neck?

Drew_Brees_Saints_2014_1

We see this elsewhere. Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints is a great example to look at long term. While Brees is one of the most prolific passers to ever hit the NFL, he has almost never had a defense worth the name. So while the Saints have a Super Bowl win, they have not been in the hunt for more as often as they should have. Now that Brees is almost at the end of his career, what are the chances that changes? Think of what could have been.

The Colts have Andrew Luck in the prime of his career. He may not even have peaked quite yet, but there’s only so much he can do without a competent defense and an improved offensive line.

In a division which is weak at best, the Colts are struggling instead of dominating. Will Luck get a Super Bowl? He might at some point.

If they don’t fix what is wrong with this team, though, we will probably be having a conversation in ten years about how he never could get ‘the big one’ and fell short in the playoffs too often.

That won’t be on Luck. That will be on Colts ownership, who will have wasted one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL.


About Andrew Garda

Andrew Garda is a freelance writer primarily covering NFL football, with frequent side trips to everything else. A member of the Pro Football Writers Association, he is a contributing writer for Sports on Earth and Pro Football Weekly. He also covers fantasy for Footballguys.com. Garda is the host of the At the Whistle podcast and has been credentialed for many NFL drafts, Senior Bowls, pro days and various NFL events.