Andrew Luck is just 25 years old, entering his fourth season in the NFL, and already one of the league's best quarterbacks. The Colts made it to the AFC Championship game in 2014 thanks to Luck, but team owner and CEO Jim Irsay set the expectations much higher.
"In the Andrew Luck era, we'd like to win at least two world championships,'' Irsay said on Saturday, per FOX59's Mike Chappell. We don't shy away from that fact. When we look at that, we look at how we build the roster over the next three years to really be able to go on a run where you can win Super Bowls, where you can really be dominant.''
To some (those looking to stir up a controversy that isn't there), that might seem like a shot at the Peyton Manning era - an era in which the Colts won just one Super Bowl title despite a record-setting decade. With Luck, Irsay is clearly setting the sights higher than that.
His comments came as the NFL Draft was winding down and his team took a very similar approach to the team did at the beginning of the Manning era: build completely around the offense and hope the defense is good enough. And for Manning's Colts, the results were hard to argue with. They won more games in a decade than any other team in NFL history. They made the playoffs eleven times, won two AFC Championship games, and won a Super Bowl, all while Manning won four league MVP awards and entrenched himself as one of the greatest players to ever play the game. And yet stunningly, there are many Colts fans who view the era as a failure.
But rather than debating that (because it clearly was anything but a failure), let's rather look at it this way: I don't think anyone would argue that the Colts want to win at least two Super Bowls with Andrew Luck at quarterback, and as long as number 12 is under center they will have a legitimate shot at doing so. But what is the best way to go about making that happen? Get in the playoffs consistently. You can't win a Super Bowl if you don't get in the playoffs, and then once the postseason starts, anything can happen. The best way to consistently contend for a title is to consistently make the playoffs.
So we can see that the Colts' draft strategy and Irsay's comments really go hand in hand. The Colts are building a team that can consistently get to the postseason behind their offense, and we've seen that be true in each of the first three years of the Luck era. And if the team can continue to make the playoffs consistently, the titles will almost surely come at some point.
For Jim Irsay, the expectations are clear: he wants at least two Lombardi trophies to show for the Andrew Luck era. And as long as Luck is at quarterback, that's a very realistic goal to have.