Even if Andrew Luck upgrades to throwing NFL-sized footballs soon, it won’t be enough to transform the Colts into a good team.
Andrew Luck’s potential return to full health absolutely deserves to be the biggest story for the Indianapolis Colts this season. Unfortunately, his return isn’t going to be the silver bullet for this franchise. Even with a healthy luck at quarterback, the Colts will still struggle to make the playoffs.
Turning a team that went 4-12 last season into a playoff contender is a tall order. Luck has the talent to be a franchise quarterback. He’s certainly capable of transforming the Colts offense from a group that finished dead last in scoring last season to one of the more dynamic attacks in the NFL.
That’s why receiver T.Y. Hilton is dead on when he talks about how Luck’s return to the practice field has improved the “whole vibe” around the team’s training camp. Scoring points can improve everyone’s mood. Having Luck back under center will give the Colts a chance to score a lot of points in every game. Unfortunately, the team will also need to stop the opposition from lighting up the scoreboard.
An improved offense can help the Colts defense be more effective. Playing in more competitive games should help the defensive statistics rise. It’s easier to stay motivated to compete hard on the defensive side of the ball when you actually have a chance to win. Unfortunately for the Colts, their defense might have been even worse than their offense last season. Indianapolis finished last in the league in both points and yards per game last season.
Luck might be the size of some NFL linebackers, but he’s not going to take any snaps on defense. That’s why his return won’t be enough to turn the Colts from bottom-feeders to playoff contenders. The additions of Derico Autry and Chris Milton in free agency won’t be enough to move the needle. Darius Leonard, Tyquan Lewis and Kemoko Turay were all selected in the draft’s second round, but only Leonard is a member of the team’s two-deep depth chart at the moment.
The bottom line here is that Luck can really improve the Colts next season, but he can’t cure all of their deficiencies. Indianapolis still has too many holes on defense to become a legitimate Super Bowl contender in 2018.