This morning while listening to Indianapolis Colts radio, I heard a statistic that last season Andrew Luck was ranked 28th in the NFL in third down efficiency throwing the football. That was so shocking and disconnected from what I remembered seeing that I took to the Google to see for myself. I wasn’t able to find those specific numbers, but most of what I saw had the Colts as a whole ranked about 15th in third down efficiency. That’s better, but still not great (lower than the New York Jets and Tennessee Titans). And it’s worse than the team’s third down efficiency was in 2012, Luck’s sophomore season.
Part of those statistics can be explained in a few words: Reggie Wayne‘s ACL and the Trent Richardson trade. Without those two pieces properly aligned, it’s easy to see how third down became a bit of a beast. This led to a lot of slow starts which is possibly the biggest back-handed compliment in the world of sports statistics: fourth quarter comebacks.
The reason those rankings felt so shocking is because Luck is the chosen one. He’s a winner. It’s hard to fathom him being “bad” at anything. But when the guys were running from behind, they couldn’t afford to get to third down. It became a non-issue. Yes, Luck found a way to win (which is really all that matters), but there’s something a little comforting in knowing he still has a lot of room to grow. According to the segment I heard this morning, Luck is well aware of his situational shortcomings and made them his main focus during the offseason. Just a little something to keep an eye on during his few preseason snaps.