by Micheal Hester
To be straightforward here, the Colts aren’t a contender without their young gunslinger Andrew Luck. Now let’s cut into the meat of that blunt observation.
2015 was a down year for the Indianapolis Colts as a whole. Their offense, in specific, was abysmal. They averaged a terrible 12.8 points a game, ranking as one of the franchise’s lowest in history. There was also a drastic drop in the passing game from previous years, averaging 162.2 passing yards per game. They were somewhat decent in the rushing game, averaging 95.8 yards per game.
All of this links directly to the team losing Luck at multiple points within the 2015 season. Luck suffered a torn abdominal muscle and lacerated kidney, which eventually sidelined him for the remainder of the season. Afterwards, the Colts watched their offense slowly deteriorate with veteran quarterbacks trying to save their season. The Colts, for the first time in years, missed the playoffs
Fast forward to the 2016 season. The Colts’ training camp is in full swing and Luck is at full health. Can the Colts get back to being a top offensive machine in 2016? Simple answer: Yes. Simple reason: A healthy Andrew Luck. The 5th year gunslinger was once the NFL’s leader in passing touchdowns in 2014. With a 101-55 touchdown-to-interception ratio and 85.0 career passer rating, adding the addition of new offensive coordinator Rod Chudzinski. (Rod made former Cleveland Browns’ QB Derek Anderson into a Pro Bowler after 3 NFL starts in 2007 and worked hand-in-hand with Cam Newton in Carolina as their offensive coordinator in 2011-2012). With a (hopeful) commitment to the run game (keep in mind, the Colts haven’t had a 1,000 yard rusher since Joseph Addai ran for 1,078 yards in ’07), the Colts offense is counting on Luck to lead the way once again.
Coming off a signing of a 6-year, $140 million dollar contract extension, Luck will be playing with a chip on his shoulder in 2016 and that could be bad news for opposing defenses on their schedule. Remember, he put up the highest passer rating against the top defense in 2015: 98.4 passer rating in a upset win over the eventual Super Bowl Champions. That feat itself is no easy feat considering how dominant that defense was. If your team has the Indianapolis Colts on its schedule this upcoming season, good luck. Your defense will definitely need it.