After missing the entire 2017-2018 season, there was intense skepticism surrounding Andrew Luck’s return to the Colts. Many had fears that the shoulder injury that kept him sidelined for an entire year would affect his throwing ability for good, while some even feared he would never see the field again. With a new head coach, a new offense, and a chip on his new shoulder, it was up to Luck to prove he was still the Pro-Bowl caliber quarterback he was in years prior.
Through 9 games this season, Luck has silenced his doubters and then some. The injury that had killed countless quarterback careers in the past seems to have made Andrew Luck even more powerful. Let’s take a look at Luck’s numbers so far this year:
|CMP %||Yards||TD||INT||TD %||INT %||Rate||QBR|
These numbers might not jump off the page, but considering that he hadn’t played a game in over a year, his stats are pretty impressive. These statistics projected over 16 games would set career high marks for Luck in Completion %, TD %, and QB Rating, showing that Luck is already back to peak performance.
Any player coming back to the field after such a long absence is bound to have at least some readjustment issues. Luck’s first three games compared to the rest of the season thus far show this readjustment very well. Here is a comparison between the two time frames:
|CMP %||YPG||TD %||INT %||Rate|
This comparison exemplifies a clear turning point for Luck this season, and shows his progress towards being recognized as an elite QB once again. If you extrapolate Luck’s last six games over a season, his numbers would look like this:
While this extrapolation uses a small sample size and can be highly misleading, it provides a better idea of just how well Luck has been performing as of late. Some may claim Luck’s recent success is due to the passing defenses he has played over that stretch, but this is not the case. In his first three games, Luck played the 30th, 24th, and 20th ranked passing defenses (25th average). The rankings of the passing defenses the Colts have played over the past six games, however, are: 13th, 29th, 23rd, 4th, 17th, and 1st (14th average). As the season goes on, Luck is getting better and better while also playing better defenses.
With Andrew Luck clearly back to full health, the Colts are a dangerous team. In years past, Luck has shown he can carry the Colts to playoffs single-handed. With an elite offensive line, a respectable running game, a competent coaching staff, and a rejuvenated Andrew Luck, the sky is the limit for the Indianapolis Colts.