Punch Drunk Wonderland

Can Andrew Luck rediscover his best form?

Indianapolis Colts, Andrew Luck

It’s probably fair to say that Andrew Luck will be under some serious scrutiny this season.

Not only is the quarterback coming off the back of a disappointing campaign, the first in which he failed to lead the Colts to the playoffs since being signed by the franchise, but Luck recently put pen to paper on a new deal that will earn him a colossal $140 million over the next six years with Indianapolis. While there never appeared to be any real chance of the former Stanford star leaving the Colts, it will come as some relief for their fans to know they have there won’t be any question marks surrounding the most important player in their team.

That does, of course, depend on whether Luck can rediscover the form that saw him lead the NFL in touchdown passing in 2014. While an abdominal injury restricted the Colts’ signal caller to just seven appearances last year and even when he was free of injury the season never really got going for Luck. The quarterback made it clear he wasn’t happy with how he had performed in 2015. The Indianapolis fans will be desperate to see the man who finished the 2014 regular season with 4,761 yards passing, 40 touchdowns and a passer rate of 96.5, not to mention rushing for 273 yards and three touchdowns, guiding the Colts to the AFC title game.

In Luck’s seven regular season appearances last year, the quarterback completed just 55.3 percent of his passes—throwing 12 interceptions among his 15 touchdowns— recording a career-low passing rate of 74.9 percent. While there were a number of factors as to why both Luck and the Colts endured such difficult campaigns in 2015, what is clear is that the quarterback rediscovering his best form will be crucial to Indianapolis ensuring their absence from the postseason doesn’t extend to two campaigns. Currently priced at around 12/1 with latest Bet365 NFL odds to top the AFC in 2016, there is certainly a decent case to suggest backing the Colts to bounce back this year.

The fact is that Luck has proven he is one of the most naturally gifted quarterbacks in the league, and a man more than capable of becoming one of the best of a generation. There are, though, aspects of his game that will need to change, certainly from last season – most notably his tendency to take the riskier option rather than the more conservative and thought-through decision.

Luck’s teammates also have a big role to play when it comes to keeping their quarterback safe. For a offensive line that was simply awful last season, the Colts’ management will be under no illusions they need to find a way of improving an area of their team that didn’t do its job in 2015.

Already a quarterback capable of single-handily winning any game, Luck needs to be able to have the time to make those decisions that bring about success. What he can’t be asked to do is take the responsibility of doing everything on his own, something he has possibly tried to do during his four years with the franchise. If he is allowed to find his feet again as a top quarterback, the Colts may be ones to watch this year.

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