Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

20 Oct 2013

ESPN: Andrew Luck's Progression

At ESPN Insider I look at the differences, found through game charting, in Andrew Luck's performance this year compared to last. The change at offensive coordinator has had its impact.

Andrew Luck was one of the most hyped quarterback prospects of all time, but his traditional statistics do not always suggest he's worthy of the praise.

However, Luck is as good as any young quarterback ever has been at situational football: running the hurry-up/no-huddle offense, converting on third down (especially long situations) and leading game-winning drives.

If he's to be as good or better than Peyton Manning, then he has to be allowed to do more than hand off to Trent "3.0" Richardson or watch fullback Stanley Havili take snaps away from T.Y. Hilton. These are still the Colts. Watching a quarterback carry the team is the norm, Jim Irsay.

Posted by: Scott Kacsmar on 20 Oct 2013

5 comments, Last at 21 Oct 2013, 4:22pm by mmeiselman

Comments

1
by Hummingbird Cyborg :: Sun, 10/20/2013 - 3:26pm

Considering how well the Colts rate according to DVOA running the ball, I think that the knock on the Colts run game seems unwarranted.

As a Broncos fan, I will say that I'd rather see them run the ball than air it out considering how much better Denver's run defense has been, but overall, the Colts have had a very good run game and I don't think that it's foolish to use that run game.

That doesn't mean that the pass in the NFL isn't still more important and that generally teams shouldn't air it out more, but an elite run team shouldn't stop running team using their best asset is not typical.

Especially, considering the aforementioned weakness in pass protection.

2
by Scott Kacsmar :: Sun, 10/20/2013 - 4:53pm

Knock on the running game was more about last year. It wasn't very good or helpful to Luck. This year, you have to remember Luck's scrambles boost the DVOA (same with 2012). Ahmad Bradshaw looked good in SF, but obviously didn't last this year. Trent 3.0 has not played well and I'd like to see Donald Brown get some more attempts.

4
by Bobman :: Mon, 10/21/2013 - 2:28am

The problem with their run game (which overall is pretty successful, thanks to Luck's 3 ten-yard runs on 3rd and 9 and .5 TDs per game), is that in traditional running downs and running sets (I-formation, wishbone, what have you) they probably average 2.0 YPC. It's cover-your-eyes awful. In the Denver game they were sort of pass-first and ran some out of passing formations, with a lot more success. Both RBs had low overall YPC (about 2.0 each) in that game, but that is partly due to their uber-conservative endgame trying to kill clock (the prevent offense). When they ran in normal passing situations and sets, they managed to get 5-8 a handful of times. That's one reason Brown has such a high YPC this year compared to Richardson. He's been used more in those situations.

The Denver game showed just how well they can do when they pass first. It was a generally short, ball-control passing game and it worked very well.

And as fashionable as it is to mock Stanley Havili, he forced a fumble tonight on a kick return and caught a 20 yard catch and run TD pass. Yes, TY Hilton has greater potential to influence games, but it's a team sport and Havili actually appears to be a productive member.

5
by Perfundle :: Mon, 10/21/2013 - 3:37am

"The Denver game showed just how well they can do when they pass first. It was a generally short, ball-control passing game and it worked very well."

However, you have to remember this is against Denver's 27th-ranked pass defense, with Bailey injured in the second quarter to boot. Conversely, Denver has one of the best run defenses, and indeed Indianapolis had by far their worst day running the ball.

6
by mmeiselman :: Mon, 10/21/2013 - 4:22pm

again with the game winning drive stats?