A healthy Andrew Luck equates to good fortune for the Indianapolis Colts as a franchise. One only has to look at how it did in 2017 without him compared to last season as evidence. After sitting out the entire season, Luck didn’t skip a beat in leading the team to the playoffs by way of throwing for 4,593 yards and 39 touchdowns. He did so with one of the worst wide receiver corps the NFL had to offer in tow, so his job could be made quite easier in 2019-20 with all the upgrades made to his pass catching corps. This is highly evident with Patrick Mahomes being the only other quarterback to currently possess higher passing yards and total TD pass props at offshore sportsbooks
Total Passing Yards: 4450.5
Total Passing TD: 33.5
Having thrown for at least 4,240 yards in the five seasons he got at least 15 starts under his belt, Luck certainly has the chops to exceed his passing yards prop this season; provided the injury bug doesn’t rear its ugly head once again. Though currently struggling with a calf injury in training camp, it isn’t expected to hinder the upcoming campaign. With that, he’s certainly one of the favorites to lead the league in passing yards with T.Y. Hilton back for an eighth season. The duo hooked up 76 times for 1,270 yards but only 6 TD a year ago. Hilton is likely to experience some positive regression in the touchdown department with Eric Ebron likely not reeling in 13 touchdowns with a healthy Jack Doyle back in the mix. The additions of rookie Paris Campbell and Devin Funchess give him two more capable big bodied targets to get the ball to in the red zone. With so many new toys to play with and hopefully better overall health, it’s surprising to see the betting markets currently in support of the under in both prop categories. I believe that has more to do with overblowing the calf injury news more than anything else.
The Colts ( +1040 ) only sit behind the Chiefs, Patriots and Saints on the current odds to win Super Bowl LIV. They’re also offering up a +520 return to win the AFC. In other words, Indianapolis is expected to be a major player in the race to the Super Bowl as well as odds on favorites to come out of the AFC South at the top of the heap. While Tennessee, Jacksonville and Houston all had scoring defenses ranked amongst the top-12 a season ago, Luck is firmly aware of how those division rivals plan to defend him. Last season, he threw for 686 yards and 6 TD against the Texans, 582 yards and 6 TD against the Titans, and 533 yards and 3 TD against the Jaguars. As good those defenses ultimately proved to be, none of them save for the Jags to an extent found a way to limit his production. And that was with a much lesser cast of receivers than he has at his disposal this season.
Indianapolis Colts Football Schedule
Week 1: Colts at Chargers, Sunday, September 8, 4:05 p.m. ET
Week 2: Colts at Titans, Sunday, September 15, 1 p.m. ET
Week 3: Falcons at Colts, Sunday, September 22, 1 p.m. ET
Week 4: Raiders at Colts, Sunday, September 29, 1 p.m. ET
Week 5: Colts at Chiefs, Sunday, October 6, 8:20 p.m. ET
Week 6: Bye Week
Week 7: Texans at Colts, Sunday, October 20, 1 p.m. ET
Week 8: Broncos at Colts, Sunday, October 27, 4:25 p.m. ET
Week 9: Colts at Steelers, Sunday, November 3, 1 p.m. ET
Week 10: Dolphins at Colts, Sunday, November 10, 4:05 p.m. ET
Week 11: Jaguars at Colts, Sunday, November 17, 1 p.m. ET
Week 12: Colts at Texans, Thursday, November 21, 8:20 p.m. ET
Week 13: Titans at Colts, Sunday, December 1, 1 p.m. ET
Week 14: Colts at Buccaneers, Sunday, December 8, 1 p.m. ET
Week 15: Colts at Saints, Monday, December 16, 8:15 p.m. ET
Week 16: Panthers at Colts, Sunday, December 22, 1 p.m. ET
Week 17: Colts at Jaguars, Sunday, December 29, 1 p.m. ET
Dependent upon the division making marked improvement as a whole, the defenses Luck will be forced to run up against are average or slightly above at best. His ability to thrash those teams has already been discussed, so when you add the Raiders, Chiefs, Steelers, Dolphins, Buccaneers and Saints into the mix, it becomes all the more clear that No. 12 is possibly in line for the best season of his professional career; provided he steps in under center at least 15 times. Fantasy footballers are no doubt drooling over his playoff schedule with the Bucs, Saints and Panthers lined up. In the grand scheme of things, Luck’s schedule difficulty checks in at No. 4 with No. 1 the easiest and No. 32 the toughest. The fact that 13 of the team’s 16 scheduled games will take place in a dome or warm climates only increases the likelihood of Luck taking advantage of the dry tracks.
There were only two 5,000 yard passers last season; Roethlisberger and Mahomes. It marked the first time two players accrued that much passing yardage since the 2013-14 season when Peyton Manning and Drew Brees pulled off the feat. Luck’s career high water mark is 4,761 yards and he did it by way of completing 61.7 percent of his passes back in 2014-15. With a much better arsenal at his disposal and one of the best pass blocking offensive lines in the game keeping him upright, the sky’s the limit in 2019-20. He thrived under Frank Reich a season ago and more growth is expected moving forward. He’ll once again be a top-five finisher in terms of passing yardage and with it have an excellent shot of hitting the 35 TD pass mark to cash over tickets for both futures props at top rated sportsbooks.
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