Not only is Andrew Luck in his second year of replacing Peyton Manning, but he just went head-to-head with the former Indianapolis Colts quarterback and quite possibly played the game of his career. Luck was near-perfect in his decision making throughout the game as he refrained from turning the ball over, and was effective each time he decided to tuck the ball and run, picking up the first down the majority of the time.
Heading into the Week 7 matchup against the Denver Broncos, Luck had led the Colts to a 4-2 start and was completing nearly 62 percent of his passes on the year. Against the Broncos in the “battle of 1812,” however, Luck carried the Colts’ offense all night and was a huge reason why they entered halftime with a 26-14 lead over the Broncos.
Many fans anticipated this battle between Luck and Manning, and although the general consensus was the Colts made the right move when they transitioned from Manning to Luck, it was confirmed after their victory on Sunday Night Football. While Manning has been playing the best football of his career this season, Luck is right behind him and has one of the brightest futures of any player in the NFL today.
Luck already shows great poise in the pocket, and although he was pressured plenty on Sunday night, he kept his eyes downfield while making adjustments in the pocket, which allowed him to gain 228 yards passing and 30 yards on the ground with four total touchdowns.
While other second-year quarterbacks in the NFL have struggled this season, Luck has improved from last year and is leading a very promising Colts team as well. Another overlooked and rather important observation of Luck and the Colts is their lack of a run game despite trading for Trent Richardson early in the year.
As I have said since Richardson entered the league, he was overvalued as a first-round pick in 2012 and has become one of the most overrated running backs in the league since. Although he is tough between the tackles and is one of the harder backs to bring down, Richardson has a career average of just 3.5 yards per carry and rushed for just 37 yards on Sunday night.
While the Colts’ defense played a large part in the team’s victory over the Broncos on Sunday night, Luck’s effectiveness in and outside of the pocket was the real reason the Colts emerged victorious. Although the second-year quarterback didn’t put up historic numbers, he beat the man he replaced in Indianapolis, and did so in a variety of ways.