Heading into this week, his statistics were not all that impressive when judged against the rest of the quarterbacks in the NFL, but are certainly admirable when considering the amount of responsibility that has been heaped on his during his rookie year.
Through his first nine games, Luck completed 57.5 percent of his passes for 2,631 yards, 10 touchdowns and nine interceptions. His 362 passing attempts on the year were the fifth-highest total in the league.
Against New England, he completed 27-of-50 passes for 334 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions—two of which were returned for scores.
Luck was again called upon to throw a high volume of passes, and he did show off his talent. The mobility, accuracy and arm strength that made him a historically exciting prospect were evident against New England, as they have been throughout this season.
However, when forced to play from behind against a team with aggressive defensive backs, he has tried to force throws and this has led to mistakes. This trend continued against the Patriots.
Luck has been far from perfect this season, and he has a significant amount of progress to make before he can be compared to all NFL quarterbacks, and not just rookies.
There was plenty of hype surrounding Luck when he came out of college. He has handled all the pressure with class and humility, and proved to be an extremely likable player.
In addition, he has had a few truly exciting performances, like his 433-yard, two-touchdown performance against the Miami Dolphins. Throw in the Indianapolis’s inspirational run in which they won five of their six games after Chuck Pagano was diagnosed with leukemia, and it becomes extremely easy to root for Luck and the Colts.
But performances like the one against the Patriots prove that Luck is not ready to compete against the NFL’s best teams, and the Colts do not have the talent to make a run in the playoffs.
Given his production at this early stage in his career, Luck is certainly still on track to live up to his potential and turn into one of the league’s top quarterbacks. But that will come further down the road and he still has a long way to go before he gets there.