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Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts made the AFC Championship Game last season thanks to an offense that was able to outduel the likes of Peyton Manning, Andy Dalton, and other top level quarterbacks. But one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks last season has been one of its worst this year, as Luck has not been able to find his footing as we near the halfway points of the NFL season. What has caused Luck to struggle so much?
Andrew Luck’s Poor Decision Making
Despite being praised for his ability to make good decisions last year, Andrew Luck has made poor decisions on a consistent basis this season, which has caused the bulk of his struggles. Luck has thrown 12 interceptions, which is the worst total in the NFL through eight weeks, which is even worse than it looks given that Luck has missed some time due to injury, which we’ll get to shortly.
On a consistent basis, Luck is trying to fit passes into coverage windows where multiple players are defending just one Colts receiver, which is a terrible decision from both a physical and mental standpoint. As a result, passes are being intercepted, or deflected, which can lead to either incomplete passes or interceptions.
Andrew Luck Missing Throws
Even when Andrew Luck has made the right reads of his opponent’s defense, he’s missed plenty of throws that he was completing with ease last year. In Monday night’s loss against the Carolina Panthers, Luck threw several passes over the heads of his receivers, giving them no chance to make the catch while making it possible for defenders to drop behind the receiver’s route to make a big defensive play.
For the Indianapolis Colts, this has to hurt your faith in Luck to make the plays you need him to make. This was evident in the game against Carolina, where the Colts used the run on more third down plays than usual, making it harder for themselves to gain the necessary yardage rather than put the ball in Luck’s hands where bad things were more likely to happen in their eyes.
Indianapolis Colts Still In Charge
Perhaps the saddest thing about Andrew Luck’s issues this year is the fact that there have been no consequences for the poor play of both Luck and the Indianapolis Colts as a whole. It is looking more and more like the AFC South division is one of the worse divisions in NFL history, as the Colts are leading it with a record of three wins and five losses.
As it stands, all three of the Colts’ competitors in the AFC South are just as bad as Indianapolis, if not worse. The Tennessee Titans just fired their head coach, the Houston Texans don’t have a legitimate starting quarterback, and the Jacksonville Jaguars have one of the four worst point differentials in all of the NFL. Therefore, it doesn’t look like the Colts will be punished for their bad play thanks to a bad division. However, once they reach the post-season, teams will be sure to punish them for their mistakes at quarterback as well as everywhere else on the field.
By: Jason M. Sanin