At Pro Football Weekly, we're old enough to remember the last time Andrew Luck faced the Jacksonville Jaguars. It was the 2016 regular-season finale, when the Jaguars' defensive rise was in its early infancy and Andrew Luck was fighting through a painful right shoulder injury that would sideline him the entire 2017 campaign.
Luck threw for 321 yards and two touchdowns, also committing two turnovers and absorbing four sacks in that game, a 24-20 Jaguars victory. Isn't it wild to consider that that now would qualify as a down game for Luck and an improvement for Jacksonville's defense?
Luck has tossed at least three touchdowns in every game since Week 3, while the Jaguars 'D' has permitted an average of 28.5 points during its four-game losing streak. Moreover, Luck has been sacked only 10 times this season and the Jaguars have only four interceptions after finishing second in the NFL in that category a year ago.
Thus, we might be ranking Luck more aggressively than most this week — the QB7 overall this season is down only two ticks, at QB9, with both teams coming off the bye and the Colts hosting the Jaguars. Unlike Jacksonville, which might not emerge from the open date fully healthy on 'D' — CBs A.J. Bouye and Quenton Meeks remained sidelined Wednesday — the Colts could get Ryan Grant back and removed Jack Doyle altogether from the injury list.
Make no mistake: Jacksonville is absolutely still a dangerous defense, and the winner of this game should still have a puncher's chance in the AFC South. But this also is Luck's opportunity to unmistakably prove that he's back in prime form, and our expectation is that he'll do just that.
1. Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs vs. Cardinals
2. Cam Newton, Panthers at Steelers
3. Aaron Rodgers, Packers vs. Dolphins
4. Matt Ryan, Falcons at Browns
5. Drew Brees, Saints at Bengals
6. Philip Rivers, Chargers at Raiders
7. Carson Wentz, Eagles vs. Cowboys
8. Jared Goff, Rams vs. Seahawks
9. Andrew Luck, Colts vs. Jaguars
10. Tom Brady, Patriots at Titans
11. Russell Wilson, Seahawks at Rams
12. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers vs. Panthers
13. Mitch Trubisky, Bears vs. Lions
14. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bucs vs. Washington
15. Andy Dalton, Bengals vs. Saints
16. Baker Mayfield, Browns vs. Falcons
17. Alex Smith, Washington at Bucs
18. Marcus Mariota, Titans vs. Patriots
19. Matthew Stafford, Lions at Bears
20. Dak Prescott, Cowboys at Eagles
21. Eli Manning, Giants at 49ers
22. Josh Rosen, Cardinals at Chiefs
23. Blake Bortles, Jaguars at Colts
24. Nick Mullens, 49ers at Giants
25. Josh McCown, Jets vs. Bills