Entering 2018, many questions surrounded Colts quarterback Andrew Luck and his surgically repaired right shoulder that sidelined him for the entirety of last season. Through five weeks, it doesn’t look like Luck lost a step as he leads the league in both completions (163) and attempts (245).
“He looks like the same player,” Jets head coach Todd Bowles said. “To not play that long and to come back and play the way he’s been playing has been remarkable.”
When asked what makes Luck effective, Bowles said it’s not a single trait, it’s the former No. 1 overall pick’s all-around game.
“He can throw it deep, he can throw it short, he’s extremely intelligent, he has great size and he can run with the football,” he said. “He doesn’t have one special guy to throw to, he can see the field. Any time you have a quarterback that can do all that, it’s going to make it tough.”
After five games, Luck has completed 66.5% of his passes and thrown for 12 touchdowns and five interceptions despite the team’s 1-4 record. The Colts feature a pass catching unit that may be down wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (chest/hamstring) and tight ends Jack Doyle (hip) and Eric Ebron (shin/quad/knee/ankle), but Indianapolis has five players that have recorded at least 20 receptions, which is the most in the league.
“It’s a big challenge. Andrew Luck is still the same Andrew Luck even though he missed a year with the shoulder,” safety Marcus Maye said. “He’s going to come out and play the game he’s always played, get the ball to his guys. I feel like he can still make all the throws, so you can’t sleep on him. They’re going to be ready to go. They’re still a great team and he’s going to come out and lead them. We have to be prepared.”
Maye’s running mate, Jamal Adams, credited Luck’s poise considering he missed a year due to injury. Adams said he’s looking forward to the challenge of lining up against a “phenomenal” football player.
Sunday will mark the first time Adams and Maye square off against the seventh-year veteran. But third-year linebacker Darron Lee remembers the last time these teams met as the Colts took down the Green & White 41-10 on Monday Night Football in 2016.
“He’s a great quarterback,” Lee said. “They have a lot of great pieces, a couple great tight ends, great receiving corps and very nice O-line. They rely on him a lot and he puts him in the best position to win.”