The offseason is the time for all sorts of rankings, and often those rankings that get the most attention are of the best players (or quarterbacks). We've mentioned several of them so far this offseason, and recently the USA Today's For the Win released their ranking of the top 100 players in the NFL.
The list was based solely on who the author (Steven Ruiz) thinks will be the best in 2016. So this isn't a list ranking the best players based on last year but rather the upcoming season. The Indianapolis Colts only got one player on the list, but it was the obvious one: quarterback Andrew Luck was ranked 42nd.
Luck struggled with his decision making in 2015. He was also playing with an injured shoulder and ended up going down for the season with a lacerated kidney after taking a beating behind a porous offensive line. The 26-year-old is far too talented and intelligent to not figure things out. Expect a return to his 2014 form.
Luck was the eighth quarterback on the list, coming in behind Aaron Rodgers (1st overall), Tom Brady (3), Drew Brees (9), Cam Newton (13), Ben Roethlisberger (16), Russell Wilson (17), and Philip Rivers (33). The ranking of Luck eighth keeps right in line with what most people have been saying, as it seems most people still think he's a top-ten quarterback and somewhere around that seven, eight, or nine range.
These people, such as Steven Ruiz, deserve credit for realizing that though Luck had a poor 2015 season, his year was marred by injuries and there's reason to think he'll rebound nicely. Ruiz mentioned that he expects Luck to reach his 2014 form, a year in which he set a Colts franchise record for single-season passing yards and led the NFL in touchdown passes. In that season, Luck became just the seventh player in NFL history to throw for at least 40 touchdowns and 4,750 yards in the same season.
As a bit of a side note, if Luck truly does reach his 2014 status again he'll be better than the eighth-best quarterback in the NFL. So if Ruiz expects Luck to return to that form, this ranking seems a bit low for the quarterback, though that's just nit-picking. It's perfectly understandable where Luck is ranked on this list, both in terms of overall ranking (42) and quarterback ranking (8).
The bottom line that we can take from all of this is simple: while 2015 was rough, there's no reason to freak out about Andrew Luck long-term. The overwhelming expectation is that Luck will return to form and get back on track in 2016, and if that happens it will mean good things for the Colts - and it will mean a higher ranking for Luck on lists like these next year.