Andrew Luck Was One of PFF’s Most Improved Offensive Players in 2016
According to Pro Football Focus, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck was one of their most improved offensive players in 2016 from a season ago.
The highest paid player in NFL history rebounded from an injury plagued 2015 season to throw for 31 touchdowns to just 13 interceptions, 4,240 passing yards, and a passer rating of 96.4–while completing a career high 63.5% of his passes:
"Quarterback1. Andrew Luck, Colts2015 season grade: 45.12016 season grade: 92.4 Since 2013, Luck has ranked ninth, fifth, 37th, and fourth in PFF grades among QBs. In his 2015 season, he was plagued by injury, missing the first two games of his career (shoulder) before going down with a lacerated kidney and a partially-torn abdominal muscle. In 2016, Luck recorded a 112 QB rating (fifth) when throwing from a clean pocket. For perspective, this number dropped to 91.9 (29th) in 2015. He is elite when healthy, ensuring his place on the list because of an outlier season."
Specifically, Luck finished as Pro Football Focus’ (subscription) 4th best quarterback overall with a +92.4 grade overall–only behind the likes of Tom Brady, Matt Ryan (MVP), and Aaron Rodgers (i.e. elite company).
Perhaps most impressive of Luck’s season was that he was playing through a shoulder injury that was apparently much more serious than the Colts initially let on. That is, in addition to playing behind a suspect pass protecting offensive line and a young receiving corps that dropped way too many passes this past season.
That’s not to say Luck can do no wrong, as his Week 14 performance in a must-win game against the Houston Texans simply wasn’t good enough this past season.
The Colts essentially suffered a season-ending 17-22 loss versus the Texans with much maligned former starting quarterback Brock Osweiler at the opposing helm.
That being said, given what Luck had to work with, he carried the Colts about as far as could reasonably be expected–especially with a historically awful defense on the other side of the football backing him up.
Luck is currently on the cusp of being considered on that ‘Tier 1’ status of elite quarterbacks, but he has to carry the Colts to the playoffs once again–while making a deep run in the process.
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However, there’s no question he remains one of the best ‘younger’ quarterbacks in all of football along with the Carolina Panthers Cam Newton and Seattle Seahawks Russell Wilson respectively–all of whom represent the ‘new guard’ at the league’s most important position.
The realistic hope is that with shored up pass protection (right side of the offensive line, I’m looking at you), another year of growth and polish with his young receivers, and an improved defense as a whole, that Luck can once again carry the Colts to the playoffs–with maybe a little extra January football to come.