There’s no doubt that Indianapolis Colts rookie quarterback Andrew Luck has his moments — well, more than just moments — but the first overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft has been suffering from an alarming case of rookie-itis of late. Coming into Sunday’s game with the Tennessee Titans, Luck was tied with New Orleans’ Drew Brees for the league lead in interceptions with 16. And Brees was only up there after a horrific five-pick performance against the Atlanta Falcons two Thursdays ago.
Still, it’s all good for the 9-4 Colts, who beat the Titans, 27-23, despite Luck’s final stat line: 16 completions in 34 attempts for 196 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. It was an important victory for a Colts team that had no healthy running backs for a while in the fourth quarter.
Still, Luck’s issues have been obvious for a while now. He’d thrown eight picks in his last four games before the Titans contest, including three each against the Buffalo Bills and Detroit Lions, two defenses that don’t generally strike fear into offenses.
In the first half of the Titans game, Luck threw two more picks to take sole possession of the NFL lead for the moment, and it’s safe to say that neither pick should have happened. The first one came with 4:51 left in the first half, and it was a pick-six by linebacker Will Witherspoon. However, as you can see in the video above, Luck was down before he threw the ball. The booth saw it the same way referee Peter Morelli did, and the Titans were given a gift.
Luck’s second pick came with five seconds left in the first half, and it was the result of a Hail Mary — the Colts were down, 20-7, and Luck was just trying to get something going.
Now, this doesn’t mean that Luck is doomed to fail. He’s been asked to do a lot for his team, just like Peyton Manning was in 1998, and Manning led the league in picks when he was a rookie with 28. It’s indicative of Luck’s workload that he also broke Manning’s team record for passing yards for a rookie in this game, and he’s well on his way to Cam Newton’s rookie record of 4,051 yards. Luck had 3,596 before he suited up against the Titans.
Everyone who has seen Luck would agree — he’s got an amazing sense of the game, and when he’s on, he’s as good as anybody. But if you’re talking about rookie quarterbacks, and potential Rookies of the Year, we’d take Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson over Luck until he solves his proclivity for turnovers.