Nine weeks into the 2013 season, the Indianapolis Colts are looking like the class of the league. At 6-2 and atop their division, Indy has completely turned their franchise around in a matter of just a year. From releasing arguably the greatest quarterback of all time in Peyton Manning and drafting Andrew Luck until now, the Colts have become a serious threat once again.
Indy has overcome plenty of adversity to get to this point. Losing running backs Vick Ballard and Ahmad Bradshaw for the season were two very tough injuries to deal with. The run game hasn’t been consistent enough running it through Trent Richardson and Donald Brown, so Luck has picked up some of the slack in that area as well.
Looking at the team’s statistics on the year, nothing would necessarily jump out at you as being tops in the league, or even close to that. Passing yards: 20th. Rushing yards: 12th. Opposing passing yards: 17th. Opposing rushing yards: 27th.
So, why are they looking like such a force? The answer: Luck.
The second year quarterback has been incredibly efficient and has come into his own as a team leader, even at such a young age. His 2013 campaign has been so good that he deserves to be right up there with Manning for MVP honors.
Luck may not have as many touchdowns, but his 13 passing touchdowns compared to just three interceptions all season long are a huge reason why Indy has had so much success. Luck rarely turns the ball over. He makes very good decisions. He’s careful, calm and collected when the game is on the line.
Oh, and speaking of the game being on the line, in just one and a half seasons as a pro he ranks first in the league with 10 4th quarter or overtime game-winning drives in that time period.
Luck is only going to get better. How frightening is that? He’s already a veteran, at least with how he handles himself on and off the field. He’s been someone the Colts can look to without hesitation as their leader and the guy who will take them to the level they aspire to be at.
There haven’t been as many efficient and clutch quarterbacks in the last year and a half like Luck. He’s proving the Colts’ decision to roll with him instead of Manning to be a smart one, and this year may be a year when he gets the highest praise yet.