NFL Indianapolis Colts

Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck More Comfortable Going Into Week 1

Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

Indianapolis, IN- When the Indianapolis Colts take to the field Sunday afternoon in Lucas Oil Stadium against the Oakland Raiders, it will be year two in the Andrew Luck era.

Compared to last year, the pressure will be more intense to start the season off this year.

Last year, not much was expected for Luck or the Colts early on in the season. Many had them ranked in the bottom five of the league, as they were coming off of a 2-14 season in 2011 and having Luck start with many other rookies under a new coaching staff. Indianapolis also had to play on the road at the Chicago Bears, who had a stout defense. No one gave them much of  a chance.

After leading Indianapolis to an 11-5 regular season, a playoff appearance and making the Pro Bowl, it’s a much different expectation for Luck in 2013.

“Obviously having a year under your belt is nice,” said Luck. “You know what to expect a little bit. But I think an opening game never loses its luster. Whether you’re Pop Warner, middle school, high school, college, especially against such a storied franchise like the Raiders, all the great things that come with them. We’re very excited.”

He talked about the importance of winning in Week, 1 as well.

“Absolutely. Like every team out there in any sport, you want to start off the season with a win. That gets you going in the right direction. We know it’s going to be tough sledding. The Raiders are tough and watching their defense, they’re athletic. They fly around to the ball. I have very, very high respect for their defensive coordinator, Jason Tarver, who was one of my coaches at Stanford for a while. It’s going to be tough.”

One thing that will help him this year compared to last year’s opener, is that he’s more relaxed, as he’s already went through a full season.

“Yeah, a little bit. Just by virtue of having played an NFL game. Knowing what pregame is like, knowing who runs out of the tunnel and where, things of that nature. Again, it’s still very exciting.”

This should be a banner year for the Colts and Luck in 2013 if they can stay healthy and win the games they’re supposed to.

Eric Smith is the Colts Beat Writer for Rant Sports. He’s covered the team the last four years and is recognized as an accredited member of the media. Follow him on Twitter @ericsportsguru