Andrew Luck Becomes A Better Quarterback In Key Specific Areas
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INDIANAPOLIS – The numbers certainly back up how Andrew Luck self-scouts his 2018 season.
When prodded to provide a self-assessment of 2018, Luck offered a pretty accurate description of how he performed this past year.
“I think I threw the ball better, simply,” Luck said following the end of the 2018 campaign. “I just think I threw the ball better. (Also), I think I learned to manage situations better.”
Both of those statements can be backed up by the numbers of improvement for Luck.
The Colts franchise quarterback finished 2018 with a career-high in completion percentage (67.3) and in quarterback rating (98.7). His interception rate was the second lowest of his career, and it's a number that could have been even better if around a handful of mis-handled balls from his pass catchers didn't lead directly to picks.
Cleaning up accuracy and overall efficiency has always been one of the very few things that Luck needs to work on as a quarterback.
His return to football saw that.
Situationally, Luck was outstanding on third down this season, benefitting from having Frank Reich designing things and calling plays in 2018.
The Colts finished 2018 as the NFL’s top third-down conversion team, with a 48.6 percent conversion rate.
Improved accuracy and being so effective on the money down were two strides from Luck in 2018.
While the quarterback initially pointed out these two aspects of his game from last season, he also didn’t want to take for granted the fact that he was routinely suiting up week after week.
“In the odd sort of self-preservation of a quarterback, I think I did that better,” Luck says. “I didn’t miss any practices during the season. I didn’t miss any games. I needed to prove that to myself that I could be durable. Part of playing this position is availability. That ability, availability, is a big deal. With the help of many, many folks and certainly this is not an individual sport, this is certainly a team sport and the greatest team sport in the world. But I’m glad that I was available for this team every game.”
Several times during his final press conference of the 2018 season, Luck mentioned how eager he was for an offseason where he could take further steps forward as a quarterback, as opposed to rehabbing a serious injury.
Even throughout that process, Chris Ballard was adamant Luck would get back to playing at an elite level.
For Ballard, that was confirmed to him in Week Four of the season, as the Colts came back to force overtime against the Texans.
“It was the Houston game,” Ballard says of Luck throwing for a career-high 462 yards and 4 touchdowns. “I knew it was going to take some time. He had to play. Andrew had to play the game, he was in a new offense with new players. He had to play the game, but I thought the second half of the Houston game, there were some wow moments with Andrew. That’s when, you saw little flashes of it before that, but the Houston game, that second half when he brought us back, that’s where I thought you really saw him come back.
“From day one, my relationship with Andrew, we are very close and I trust him, I do. I have a great deal of respect of where he has been and where he is now. We have not seen the best of this kid yet. Unequivocally, we are fortunate to have him as our starting quarterback, this city is and this team is fortunate to have him and I don’t think we have seen the best of him.”
Andrew Luck’s 2018 Stats (yearly ranks for his career)
-430 completions (career-high)
-639 attempts (career-high)
-67.3 completion percentage (career-high)
-98.7 quarterback rating (career-high
-4,593 passing yards (2nd)
-39 touchdowns (2nd)
-2.3 INT percentage (2nd)
-7.2 yards per attempt (3rd)