It’s no secret that quarterback Andrew Luck has been under pressure quite a bit in his first five years in the NFL, and so fortunately for the Colts he’s quite good under pressure.
There are many different ways to determine just how good a quarterback plays when pressured and no metric is going to cover every angle, but one helpful way of looking at it is by a quarterback’s touchdown rate when under pressure - in other words, how often he throws touchdown passes when he’s facing pressure from defenders.
Pro Football Focus today tweeted out the top five quarterbacks in that area since they’ve begun grading players (covering the 2006-2016 seasons), and Andrew Luck is number five. Here’s the top five:
Your countdown of the highest touchdown rate when under pressure in the PFF Era - starts with Colts QB Andrew Luck. pic.twitter.com/4D3HjYXfXT— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) May 22, 2017
For Luck to be in the same conversation with Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Tony Romo, and Ben Roethlisberger in this regard is quite impressive indeed, and it’s probably especially important for Luck to be adept at throwing touchdowns under pressure given the state of the Colts’ offensive line since he entered the league.
It’s becoming harder and harder to argue against Andrew Luck being one of the league’s top quarterbacks, as he’s proven himself to be at least in the discussion. In 2016, he had arguably his best career season as he completed 63.5% of his passes for 4,240 yards (averaging 7.8 yards per attempt), 31 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions for a passer rating of 96.4. He also added 341 yards and two touchdowns rushing, averaging 5.3 yards per carry.
Hopefully the team’s offensive line keeps improving to the point where Luck won’t have to be under pressure as much as he has been in recent years, but either way at least the Colts know that their quarterback is more than capable of facing the pressure and still playing good football.