- Mike Wells, ESPN Staff Writer
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A weekly analysis of the Colts’ quarterback play.
Rewind: Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck didn’t show any early-season rust when he completed his first 11 passes -- with two of them going for touchdowns -- against the Oakland Raiders. He finished 18-of-23 for a career-low 178 yards. Luck was on target when he was able to get rid of the ball against Oakland’s pressure. He was 11-of-12 for 99 yards and seven first downs when facing at least five pass-rushers. Luck was efficient with his passing, but it wasn’t a typical game for him. The 23 pass attempts were also a career low. The Colts ran the ball 26 times.
Fast-forward: Luck passed for a career-high 433 yards against the Miami Dolphins last season. These aren’t the same Dolphins, though. This defensive unit is faster and more aggressive than last year’s group. Luck has to hope his offensive line can protect him because Miami’s strength is its front seven. The Dolphins sacked Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden six times and intercepted him three times in Week 1. Luck was sacked four times against Oakland.
Multiple targets: Luck completed passes to seven different players against Oakland, but there was a huge drop off after his eight completions to Reggie Wayne. Darrius Heyward-Bey and T.Y. Hilton had three catches each. Four different receivers had one catch. There’s no doubt Wayne is still clearly the team’s No. 1 receiver, but expect those numbers to balance out more as the season progresses because Luck has too many weapons around him not to spread the ball around.
Prediction: It could be a long afternoon for Luck. The offensive line still has to prove it can protect the quarterback. An Oakland defense that’s not very good got to Luck four times last week, so expect a fast Miami defense to pressure Luck and throw different looks at him. Miami sacked Luck only once in its meeting last season.