Andrew Luck’s First 2018 TD: Design Begets Execution

Last Sunday Andrew Luck returned to a football field for the first time in well, a long time. While the Indianapolis Colts failed to secure a victory in his first outing, the quarterback showed some of the traits and skills that made him a top draft choice and a yearly pick as one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL from scouts, evaluators and media personnel alike. Luck completed 39 of 52 passes for 319 yards and a pair of touchdowns – with one interception – in the loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

But he notched his first touchdown in over 600 days on a beautifully-designed play from head coach Frank Reich and/or offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni. On this play we see the use of space, motion, formation and personnel come together to give Luck a wide-open vertical option in the passing game. In addition, the Colts are able to isolate an athletic tight end on a linebacker down the field on a vertical route, which is often a good option for an offense:

Obviously the result of the contest was not what Colts fans were hoping for. But for those fans of Indianapolis who were both hoping to see Luck back, but also keeping an eye toward the long-term development of the roster while still contending with their quarterback, seeing designs like this has to be a welcome sight.

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