Colts Rewind: Andrew Luck’s Performance Last Year In Third Down & More

Andrew Luck performance in 2012 was pretty magical. Even though Chuck Pagano was gone for most of the season due to his illness, Luck performed well in a team that had the 2nd worst pass protection, pretty bad run game, and an average (at best) defense. Also it didn’t helped that then Colts interim head coach, now head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, Bruce Arians was a deep passing play caller. However with all the odds stacked against them, the Colts managed one of the best turn around season in the history of the NFL. However, a lot of it was how Andrew Luck played last season.

Third-down conversion success: Even though Luck had the third highest number of interceptions and 10 fumbles, one area that he did great on was third-down conversion. According to’s magazine, The Annual, Andrew Luck had the best rookie third-down conversion percentage, since 2001, by converting 42.57 percent of all third downs. Luck narrowly beat out Falcons QB Matt Ryan as Ryan posted in his rookie year a 42.46 third-down conversion percentage. 2nd year QB Russell Wilson did well in this area too by converting 41.77 of all third downs in his rookie year.

As you can see, Luck did well on keeping the drive alive by converting a high percentage of third downs his rookie year.

Success in drop backs: Another statistics that I think is pretty crazy was that Andrew Luck had 730 drop backs last year per The Annual magazine. Let’s put that stat in perspective in the history of the NFL. Only Lions QB Matthew Stafford (791 drop backs in 2012) and Drew Bledsoe (757 drop backs in 1994) had more drop backs in the history of the NFL.

For anyone that is new to football, a drop back is when the quarterback is right behind the center and where his hands are right under the center as well. Drop backs usually consist of three-step, five-step and even seven-step drops. Usually drop back passes are harder to complete because it takes more time for the quarterback to get into his passing stance compared to the shotgun formation where the quarterback is already in the passing stance.

This stat shows that even though Luck had to do a lot of drop backs, he was still successful enough to get the Colts in the playoffs.

Andrew Luck success on running with the ball: One more statistic which can be overlooked was Luck’s ability to get first downs with his legs. According to The Annual magazine, Andrew Luck scrambled for 21 first downs last season.

It shows that Luck is a threat in running with the ball as well as passing the ball.

Even though Luck was inconsistent on his accuracy, he is not shy to say that he does need more work to become a great quarterback. However, he is well ahead of the curve so a little improvement on his accuracy and a decrease on interceptions, maybe the Colts can be a serious threat on taking back the crown in the AFC South.

Luck made a case to everyone last year, that the Colts have a bright future for the next 10-15 years. Hopefully Luck can continue improving and win a Super Bowl in the future.