Can Andrew Luck Lead the Indianapolis Colts to Super Bowl XLVIII?
The Indianapolis Colts are perhaps the most curious team in the 2014 NFL Playoffs. They are the luckiest team to win their division in the playoffs because AFC South opponents the Tennessee Titans would have beaten them twice if Jake Locker hadn’t been injured and Ryan Fitzpatrick had not started in his place. They lost five games to weaker teams like the St. Louis Rams in which they were clear favorites and struggled in the run game all season long.
However, the Colts defeated four of the top teams in the NFL by taking down the Seattle Seahawks, Denver Broncos, San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs. These wins against playoff opposition prove that they are capable of making it to the Super Bowl, but it will all come down to the play of quarterback Andrew Luck.
Luck threw for 3822 yards this season, averaged over 230 yards passing per game and had around a 60 percent completion rating. Those stats do not put him in the category with elite NFL quarterbacks, but if you take a look at what the entire team has done, he’s the most important player to any team in the NFL.
Say what you want about the poor play of running back Trent Richardson, but part of that is on the offensive line. Just look at the stats against the quarterback. The Colts’ OL has allowed 42 sacks this season, and I’m not sure there was a game where Luck wasn’t hurried every other play. He even fumbled the ball six times due to being hit so often. The offensive line has to step up because Luck can’t win the game from his back.
Luck is behind the elite quarterbacks in the NFL like Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Tom Brady, but he’s on his way to that level in the future. With most of his career ahead of him, it’s not do-or-die for Luck this season if the Colts don’t make it to the Super Bowl. But if Indianapolis’ offensive line can learn how to block, don’t be surprised if the Colts are in the AFC Championship Game.