The Indianapolis Colts have seen Andrew Luck deal with more hits than even some running backs last season. Many Colts fans are becoming impatient with the front office and coaches inability to find ways to protect their franchise quarterback. Some believe that if the Colts don’t find a way to consistently protect Luck in 2017, his career will be wasted to injury. This is possible when looking back at several of the vicious hits he has taken. Many are wondering what type of affect this shoulder surgery will have on Luck next season, though, and will he be the same?
I think that it is time for Andrew Luck to quote Aaron Rodgers in saying, “RELAX!”. Luck and the Colts offense finished this season ranked 10th in total offense and 5th in passing yards per game. But to explain how well Luck played, even while injured, take a look at the stats from this season. He was 8th in total passing yards, 5th in touchdown passes, tied for 13th for interceptions thrown, and 9th in QB rating for quarterbacks who started 12 or more games. He did all of this with an inconsistent rushing attack, several different offensive line combinations, and receivers who dropped 4.4 percent of their passes (7th worst in NFL). Of course, the one stat that most likely won’t surprise you is he was sacked 41 times. That is tied for 2nd most behind Tyrod Taylor for the Buffalo Bills.
There are things though that Andrew Luck must improve on. He needs to help his offensive line by getting rid of the ball much quicker. Luck is one of the slowest quarterbacks in the NFL when it comes to getting rid of the football. He holds the ball, on average, 2.86 seconds before throwing. Compare that to Tom Brady and Drew Brees who average 2.5 seconds. This puts much more pressure on your offensive line. If he can start getting rid of the ball quicker to his receivers, who need to catch it, the hits and sacks will most certainly go down.
Andrew Luck will be just fine and could even be better than he has been the last two seasons. Anyone following the Colts, shouldn’t be worried about whether or not Luck will be able to throw the ball with the same strength and accuracy. They should be worried about finding offensive linemen and skill position players to help Luck and T.Y. Hilton. Luck will still be the Luck we are used to seeing. The real concern is if the Colts office and coaching staff help him with getting the right players around him.