Can Jags Slow Down Andrew Luck?


The number one pick in the 2012 draft has been putting on display after display of why he is the most complete quarterback since the man he replaced, Peyton Manning.

Last week, Luck broke the rookie single-game passing record set last year by Cam Newton.  Luck’s 433 yards, two touchdown performance was a ridiculous display of passing poise that surpasses what most other quarterbacks hope to do at some point in their career, not just in their rookie season.  It all came against the Miami Dolphins, a team that is so good at stopping the run that they only needed to focus on Luck and his favorite targets during the game.

Last time the Jaguars played the Colts was in week three of the season.  In that game, Luck threw for 313 yards and two touchdowns.  Since then he has two games above 300 yards, a 297 yard performance, a 280 yard game, and only one mediocre outing against the Browns for 186 yards.  There is no doubt that Andrew Luck is hot right now.

Is the Jags defense good enough to even slow him down?

Looking at the raw numbers and momentum, it’s hard to say yes.

The Luck-Hilton combo could be deadly in years to come.  Source: Don McPeak-US PRESSWIRE

The Jaguars defense is 25th in passing yards and 27th in rushing yards.  If there is ever a game when Luck will get balance, it’ll be against the Jags.  Vick Ballard could provide the ground threat that will open things up even more for Reggie Wayne, T.Y. Hilton, and Donnie Avery.  It would take a Herculean effort for the Jaguars to slow down Mr. Luck as he strives to be one of the greatest rookie quarterbacks in NFL history.

While the Jags could limit Luck’s success with pressure (19 sacks thus far), he has managed to outplay defenses despite being sacked on 5.4% of his drop backs.  During Luck’s worst game (the first game of his career) when he had three interceptions, the defensive personnel was just too much for him.  Chicago’s ability to outplay the Indianapolis receivers opened the door for the sacks and also led to three interceptions. While the Jaguar pass rush is improving, they don’t have the same secondary help to stop Luck like the Bears had.

It’s a tough conclusion to come to, but the Jags may have to find another way to win on Thursday since it’s starting to appear that Peyton Manning 2.0 is the real deal.

– Luke N. Sims

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