The most encouraging thing for the Indianapolis Colts in a disapointing 2016 season was the play of quarterback Andrew Luck, who had a terrific year and showed that he was back to his old self after an injury-plagued 2015 campaign.
There were a number of great performances by Luck last year, but perhaps his best one came in week one against the Detroit Lions. In fact, Pro Football Focus said that it was the highest-graded game by any quarterback in the NFL last year.
Two of the three highest-graded QB games of the season came against the Bills. pic.twitter.com/XNKjKu1H8J— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) May 27, 2017
PFF grades each play of each game and compiles cumulative grades for players, both in individual grades and throughout the season. You may or may not agree with their grading system, but at the very least it’s another voice in the NFL media world - and at least according to their system, Luck’s week one performance was the best game a quarterback had last year.
In the opener against Detroit, Luck completed 31 of 47 passes (66%) for 385 yards (8.2 yards per attempt), four touchdowns, and no interceptions while posting a 119.5 passer rating, also adding 21 yards rushing on three carries. It was an absolutely fantastic performance, and Luck came through in the clutch too, as he hit Jack Doyle for the go-ahead score with less than a minute left in the game... only to see his defense blow it.
So I think this shows us two things: 1) Andrew Luck is really, really good; and 2) the Colts’ defense was really, really bad. In PFF’s highest-graded quarterback performance of the year, that quarterback’s team lost because the defense was totally inept. But that shouldn’t overshadow how good Luck was, and that should also help show that judging Luck by his team’s win/loss record is asinine.
We saw Luck have several more very good games in the 2016 season, proving that his performance in week one wasn’t a fluke. But even though he had a number of other great games, that week one showing was perhaps his best.