Andrew Luck is King of the AFC South

Photo Credit: Angie Six

Andrew Luck has been historically great in his young career, actually ranking among the tops in nearly every statistical category for a quarterback in his first 5 seasons. Despite what some say, he has not slipped back and regressed. Saying that simply shows how little they know or have researched what Andrew Luck is doing on the field. As a matter of fact, last season was Andrew Luck’s best of his career according to Pro Football Focus, and he was graded as the 4th best quarterback in the NFL last season. Not only was he the 4th highest rated quarterback last season, he was also THE highest rated player in the AFC South.

Andrew Luck’s best work however, comes against his own division. With Andrew Luck at the helm, the Colts have a 20-5 record vs. the AFC South since 2012, continuing their dominance over the division they have held throughout the history of the division. Luck himself has thrown 96 touchdowns vs. Afc South foes, to go against only 19 interceptions for his career. A 92 rating, and more than 6500 yards in 25 games is impressive, but it gets even more so if you look at it for each opponent.

Titans

Since 2012, the Indianapolis Colts have not lost to division “rival” Tennessee Titans, 9 wins to 0 losses. In those 9 games, Andrew has thrown for over 2300 yards, 15 touchdowns, and 8 interceptions (good for a 93 rating). He has also ran for another touchdown. Even as Tennessee has improved over the last couple seasons with drafting Marcus Mariota, that still hasn’t led to a win vs. the Colts. Last season, down in Nashville, Luck led the Colts to an improbable comeback win, while throwing for 353 yards and 4 touchdowns. Tossing the game winner to tight end Jack Doyle.

Jaguars

The Jacksonville Jaguars have not fared much better vs. Andrew Luck, but they have beaten him twice. (Luck is 6-2 vs. the Jaguars) One of those losses was in Luck’s rookie season, the first time the Luck faced the Jags, on a Cecil Shorts breakaway score in the closing minutes. The Colts lost that game 17-22. 17 points is the lowest the Colts have scored vs. the Jaguars with Luck at quarterback, they average 29 points per game. In those 8 games, Luck’s stats are an impressive 2300 yards, 14 touchdowns to only 5 interceptions, for a career rating of over 95. Luck has even ran for 2 scores vs. the Jags.

Texans

This is the one we’ve been waiting for. It has seemed that the Texans may have figured out Andrew if you just look at the surface. Andrew began his battles with the division rival with winning 5 of 6 games over the Texans, however, the Colts now have in fact lost 3 straight games to the Texans, 2 of those with Andrew Luck at the helm. For the duration of the battles with the Texans, Luck has actually thrown more touchdowns vs. them than any other AFC South opponent, 17, to 6 interceptions. His completion percentage is lower, and so is his yardage, leaving his rating at 86.5. Let’s dive deep into those losses to see whether or not the Texans have Luck’s number.

In those two recent losses, the Colts have scored only 20 ppg, while giving up 24 ppg. Each have been a 1 score game, and both came right down to the finish. In those two games, Luck was a combined 45 of 77, threw 3 td’s, and 3 interceptions, while throwing for over 500 yards. He was sacked 4 times, and fumbled once (when Dwayne Allen was asked to block Jadeveon Clowney), in a critical goal to go situation. So while Luck didn’t play great against the Texans, he put up a respectable 250 yards per game on the top defense in the league. They did stump him in the red zone however, as he only threw 3 touchdowns against the Texans. I feel that it wasn’t necessarily the Texans shutting Andrew Luck down last year, as much as it was an opportunistic defense taking advantage of a couple of mistakes made in big situations, which changed the outcome of the games. Andrew still has a 5-3 record vs. the Texans, and has proven to be able to move the ball vs. their elite defense. Simply put, the Texans have had the better team the last couple seasons.

A combined 20-5 record vs. divisional opponents, piling up huge numbers, winning the division 3 out of 5 years, and being the highest rated player last season in the AFC South is more than enough to crown Andrew Luck as the King of the AFC South. While Luck been challenged by a better team in the Texans, he is still the best player in the division, at the most important position in football. With a revamped defense, and an improving offensive line, the Colts should be right back on top of the division as long as the king is healthy.

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