Andrew Luck is the weekly critical mistake away from sitting atop the table with Tom Brady, Matt Ryan and Aaron Rodgers. As far as sheer quarterbacking tangibles, Luck is in the pantheon with the greatest.
It’s unusual for a star quarterback to have lapses in concentration and basic game-theory concepts – particularly when said passer is a Stanford grad. Perhaps it is part of his conditioning of playing on a bad roster for the majority of his five-year career, but Luck sometimes refuses to accept the fate of a punt of any give possession.
Luck is astute at recognizing a collapsing pocket and will frequently move himself into a position where he can deliver the football in phone-booth sized quarters. Mostly, he’s difficult to get to the ground, pinpoint accurate and a threat to take off for a big gainer on the run.
He’s also prone to catastrophe abandoning all mechanics, throwing across his body or trying to channel his Inner-Clark Kent by making the impossible conceivable.
Much is asked of the Colts quarterback as the team implores a variety of timing and anticipation routes – usually in the middle of the field. He’s often expected to squeeze the ball between a trio of defenders on deep in-cuts or put the ball on the back-shoulder despite quality-coverage.
Luck’s subtle pocket movement is flawless. He has terrific eye-discipline to keep defenders honest and allowing him to drive it to the perimeter with little opportunity for the defender to break on the route. He has little fear taking one-on-one shots down field and is capable of dropping it perfectly into the bucket.
Not to harp on the negative, but his innate ability to extend plays will cause some tunnel-vision as he occasionally locks onto a route ignoring an opening deeper down the field. (See final throw of the second quarter vs. Jacksonville in London.)
Aside from T.Y. Hilton winning speed routes and Jack Doyle squatting in zones, the Colts love to flood cover-two and cover-three with multiple verticals and Luck doesn’t always identify the cheating safety.
He’s a terrific scrambler but he doesn’t run to setup a throw as much as I would like to see. He will take off and ignore an open target as he gains fewer yards on the run. His location on back shoulder throws and fades is tremendous almost always giving his man a chance to make a play.
His pass-blocking was better than has been advertised. The Colt utilized a lot of seven step drops and used slow-developing routes to take advantage of their speed at WR and the line often held-up. The volume number of sacks was high, but the Colts run a high-number of pass plays, so that is to be expected. The successes of the line are over-looked while failures are magnified.
The Colts could run the ball better, pass protect better and drop fewer balls, but Luck and Hilton make the offense extremely dynamic. Luck misses more reads than the elite quarterbacks but he has all the tools to one day be the best quarterback in football.