Aug 24, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) throws a pass during warm ups before the game against the Cleveland Browns at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Countdown To Kickoff: Andrew Luck


The countdown to NFL Kickoff 2013 continues with 12 days remaining until the Indianapolis Colts’ season opener vs. the Oakland Raiders. Today we examine Andrew Luck, who should have never been a Colt, if not for a twist of fate.

Indianapolis was Peyton Manning’s town, and he was supposed to be a Colt for life, up to the day he could no longer throw a football. The idea of playing elsewhere seemed foreign and downright ridiculous.

But Manning missed the entire 2011 season with a neck injury, and the Colts collapsed without him by finishing 2-14. In the pole position of drafting Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, the Colts stood at a crossroads: Would they re-sign Manning, who made such an incalculable impact on the city of Indianapolis, or start over with Luck?

The organization’s future was hanging in the balance, and owner Jim Irsay had the backbone to do one of the most difficult things an owner could do: release a franchise icon.

On April 26, Andrew Luck became new quarterback of the future as the Colts selected him with the top overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.

With so many new young faces following a complete roster overhaul, many believed that Luck would not have much talent to work with as a rookie. While analysts believed he would eventually become an All-Pro quarterback, Luck was expected to struggle.

Yet, somehow, the Colts finished 11-5 and made the playoffs in an emotional season that saw its leukemia-stricken head coach Chuck Pagano miss 12 games. One year after the greatest signal-caller the city had ever known packed his bags, Indianapolis is now Andrew Luck’s town.

As good as Luck was his rookie year, he should only be better in Year 2. With a new offensive coordinator [Pep Hamilton, who, ironically, was Luck's offensive coordinator in college], Luck should improve his completion percentage and throw more touchdowns and less interceptions than last year.

With an improved Luck (not to mention an improved defense), the Colts will be playoff contenders for years to come.

#12 Honorable Mention

Jim Sorgi (2004-2009): Drafted in the sixth round of the 2004 NFL Draft, Sorgi proved to be an adequate backup quarterback for Peyton Manning. Although he saw most of his action in garbage time, Sorgi’s career numbers were 99-156, 929 yards, six touchdowns and one interception. He was released after the 2009 season.

Countdown To Kickoff Archive

Aug 21: Peyton Manning
Aug 22: Austin Collie
Aug 23: Ryan Leaf
Aug 24: LaVon Brazill
Aug 26: T.Y. Hilton
Aug 27: Andrew Luck
Aug 28: Donnie Avery
Aug 31: Matt Hasselbeck
Sept 1: Curtis Painter
Sept 2: Dan Orlovsky
Sept 3: Kerry Collins
Sept 4: Adam Vinatieri
Sept 5: Matt Stover
Sept 7: Pat McAfee

Tags: Andrew Luck Indianapolis-colts Jim-sorgi NFL