Starter: Andrew Luck (Pro-Bowl)
Bench: Jacoby Brissett
Returning after one of the most intriguing and complex injuries in Colts history, the expectation for Andrew Luck was really that low. Luck’s shoulder was the main talking point in Indianapolis for two seasons, but he eliminated that chatter with an amazing return.
Luck won Comeback Player of the Year award after throwing for 4,593 yards (2nd career), 39 touchdowns (2nd in the NFL behind Mahomes) on a 67.3% completion rate (career high). Andrew threw 15 interceptions, but that can also be attributed to the amount of times he threw the ball — 639 — 2nd in the League (most in career). It is also worth mentioning that 8 of those picks came in the first six weeks of the season, while Luck’s shoulder was still rusty.
Luck also had an amazing streak with 8 consecutive games with at least 3 touchdown passes, which tied Peyton Manning for the second longest streak in NFL record. Furthermore, he was selected to play in the Pro Bowl.
What impresses most about Luck’s elite play this season, is that he did so with an average supporting cast that was constantly struck by injuries. Tight end Jack Doyle played only 6 games before being placed on IR, running back Marlon Mack missed the first four games of the season, star wide receiver T.Y Hilton had a banged up ankle in the final weeks and center Ryan Kelly dealt with two separate injuries (knee and neck) that sidelined him for several games. Throwing to guys like Dontrelle Inman, Zach Pascal, and Mo Alie-Cox, Luck still managed to lead the Colts’ passing offense to finish sixth in the NFL and in the top five in scoring.
After the famous 1-5 start to the season, Luck was the main reason for the Colts historic turnaround. The play that proved Captain Luck was back was a key 3rd and 9 completion to Chester Rogers against Miami. With the game tied at 24, just after the two minute warning, Luck stepped up on a collapsing pocket, magically avoided a pass rusher and threw a dime on the run to an open Rogers to put the Colts in field goal range (credit also to Quenton Nelson for the way he held his block all throughout the play).
Watching Andrew Luck regain his old form and improve his play was something that should fill Colts fans with hope. After two offseasons of uncertainty, the franchise finally knows that Luck is back, and that he has an offensive line that actually blocks.
As for backup Jacoby Brissett, thankfully he was not needed, other than to throw a Hail Mary against the Eagles in Week 3. Still, Brissett has proven that he is a capable dual-threat quarterback with a rocket for an arm. It helps that one could always spot Brissett on the sidelines with a smile, fully supporting his teammates.
Ballard has stated that he will not trade Jacoby unless he is blown away with an offer, but it might be wise for the Colts to get something in return while they still can. Brissett will be a free agent in 2020 and has said he wants to start somewhere.
In all, the Colts have one of the best quarterback rooms in the NFL. Luck proved that he is still elite and Brissett may be the most sought after backup in the NFL not named Foles.