Life After Luck

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Justin Valentovic, Staff Writer

Following a nail biting 15-13 win over the Denver Broncos the Indianapolis Colts still sit on top of AFC south, holding a 5-2 record on the season. The Colts are still seeing success despite losing their franchise quarterback Andrew Luck to an early retirement.

Proving that there is life after Luck.

QB 1: Jacoby Brissett

Following the shocking retirement of Luck, head coach Frank Reich turned to then backup Jacoby Brissett to lead his teaming. Brissett has done nothing but impress after stepping into the starting role. On the season Brissett has passed for 1,388 yards 14 touchdowns and only three interceptions.

Originally Brissett might have been considered to be just a bridge quarterback until the Colts were in position to draft a new franchise QB. But after seven games he has proven that he can be the guy for the Colts. One of the biggest improvements that he has made through the season is being able to extend plays. By using his legs or evading pressure and hitting an open receiver.

Another thing that he has been able to do this season is take care of the football, with only three interceptions on the season.  By limiting turnovers he is limiting opposing teams from getting extra possessions.

The Colts rewarded Brissett by inking him to a two year $30 million contract extension, proving that they have faith in being their guy for the next few seasons.

Rebuilt O-Line

One of, if not the biggest contributing factors to the retirement of Luck was the lack of an offensive line. And that is the ironic part of it all, now that the Colts have an NFL caliber O-line, Andrew Luck is not there to use it.

But the rebuilt offensive line has drastically helped the development of Brissett.

After selecting left guard Quenton Nelson sixth overall in the 2018 NFL he has changed the entire mindset of the line. He has been able to improve the teams pass protection on the season the line has only given up eight sacks on the season. That was the biggest issues with the Colts O-line in previous years, it struggled keeping the QB up.

Along with Nelson the line is made up of Ryan Kelly, Braden Smith, Anthony Castanzo, and Mark Glowinski. The most impressive stat out of them all is that as a unit they have played every single snap this season. They are one of only two teams to use the same five linemen in every game this season so far.

This has led to better chemistry between them all and with Brissett behind them.

They also have a much more aggressive nature upfront paving the way for dominate run game.

The Ground Game and Retooled Offense


Something else that the Colts have never had while Luck was there was a game changing running game, and now they do.

Leading the charge for the Colts ground attack is third year back Marlon Mack.

During the off-season the Colts were on the short list of teams that were in the bidding war for star running back Le’veon Bell.

Turns out that they don’t need him.

Running behind his O-line, Mack has been able to rush for 514 yards and two touchdowns. However, similar to Bell, Mack is also a threat receiving out of the backfield.

Mack isn’t the only solid back the Colts have, they also have Nyheim Hynes who is used much more in the passing game than Mack is.

On the season he has been able to reel in 19 catches for 133 yards out of the backfield.

The fact that the Colts have two very good running backs that are able to compliment each other allows them to open up the playbook much more than they were able to in the past.

This makes them more dynamic and unpredictable.

Currently the Colts sit on top of the AFC south.

Looking ahead on their schedule the Colts have the ability to run the table and finish 14-2 on the season.

Their next game is Sunday Nov.  3 when they play at Pittsburgh.