Fingers crossed, lucky rabbit’s foot, rally cap, whatever you prescribe to stop a jinx, do it now. The Colts are on a three-game winning streak since dropping an ugly game in New Jersey a few weeks ago, but that’s not what I’m talking about. The Colts have two significant streaks going on that are starting to get some serious national attention.

Luck’s sidearm is hot hot hot

Oct 21, 2018; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) waits to be introduced during player introductions before a game against the Buffalo Bills at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 21, 2018; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) waits to be introduced during player introductions before a game against the Buffalo Bills at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

First, Andrew Luck’s three passing touchdown streak sits at tied for fourth all-time at five games. The only players above Luck are Hall of Famers, Dan Marion at seven, Peyton Manning (Colts) at eight, and Tom Brady at ten. Luck is tied with Russell Wilson in 2015, Aaron Rodgers in 2011, Peyton Manning (Broncos), and Steve Young. It goes to show, that this is no small feat, everyone who reaches this height is a top-level quarterback, but what’s next?

The Colts face some tough defenses down the stretch to break the record: Tennessee Miami, Jacksonville, Houston, and Dallas. Luck has already thrown three touchdowns against Houston and Jacksonville in their previous meetings, so hopefully, he can repeat that performance.

Week 11 vs Tennessee
three Titan breakout
Adoree’ Jackson and Jayon Brown

Tennessee is probably his toughest matchup as they have not let up more than two passing touchdowns all year, averaging 1.22 passing touchdowns per game. The Titans defense boasts playmakers at every level and is currently the top scoring defense in the NFL as a result.

Week 12 vs Miami
Miami Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard (25) intercepts a pass intended for Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (88) and returns it for a touchdown in the second quarter at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida on December 3, 2017. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

Miami should be a bit easier for Luck and company as Miami has let up three or more passing touchdowns three times this season. They also are averaging 2.4 passing TD per game in the last five weeks, and that’s with a 0 TD performance against the lowly Jets. It isn’t a sure thing, but I’d be confident that Luck should have the opportunity to drop another triple at home.

Week 13,14 @Jacksonville @Houston
Joseph (24) getting into an altercation with Colts receiver T.Y. Hilton during a Week 17 showdown between the division rivals (Brett Commer/Houston Chronicle).

The next two weeks are against Houston and Jacksonville, both away. We have seen Luck drop four and three touchdown days against these teams, but the Colts seem to be the outlier. Outside of Andrew Luck, both defenses only allowed three or more passing touchdowns once, neither at home. I think Luck can throw plenty against these two teams, but again, it may not be as easy as initially thought.

Week 15 vs Dallas
Photo Credit: (James D. Smith via AP)

The leaves us to Dallas, another team without a three passing touchdown game, even against some top offenses on the way. When Dallas travels to Indy, both sides may still be vying for a playoff berth, so competition should be high.

After looking at these defenses, you’d think Luck doesn’t have much of a chance to break the record, but you’d be wrong. Luck isn’t just some other quarterback, he is second in touchdowns this year behind only Pat Mahomes. 12 is on pace for 46 TD passes on the year, eight all time and second best in franchise history by two. The Colts offense is clicking on all cylinders, and are second in red zone pass attempts and fourth in passing attempts inside the ten-yard line.

Luck also leads in the NFL in passing TDs inside the ten-yard line (second in the red zone), and I don’t see this trend changing very much. The Colts run game may be vastly improved, but they do lack a thumper on short yardage situations, something that will cause Frank Reich to lean on what’s working for the Colts, passing to their tight ends. The Colts also are first in the NFL in touchdowns to TE, and in TE targets, a significant plus inside the 20.

If Luck doesn’t break this record, it is likely because the game didn’t call for it, not that Luck gets stymied by opposing defenses.

The Brick Wall of Indianapolis

Oct 28, 2018; Oakland, CA, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) gestures to teammates before a play against the Oakland Raiders during the fourth quarter at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Second, Andrew Luck has not been sacked in a whopping four straight games, 187 dropbacks. This puts the Colts tied for tied for fifth all-time with a bunch of teams. Ahead of them, is 2010 Giants and 2008 Titans at five, the 1991 Redskins at eight, and the 1988/1989 Dolphins at a whopping 19. I don’t see the Colts breaking Marino’s Dolphins record, but Washington second place eight games is very doable. Again this would mean the Colts could break the record against Dallas in Indy. Let’s look through the gauntlet again.

Week 11 vs Tennessee
Titans’ cornerback Malcolm Butler (cred: USA TODAY images)

Tennessee is only 18th in sacks per game despite being the number one scoring defense, but have three, five, and two sacks in the last three games. The Titans have a ferocious front seven lead by Jurrell Casey, and will again provide the Colts with one of their most stringent tests yet.

Week 12 vs Miami
Matt Burke alongside linebacker Kiko Alonso. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

Miami is a pitiful pass rushing team, ranking 29th in the NFL with 1.7 sacks per game. Again, at home I fully expect the Colts to take care of business against an inferior opponent.

Week 13,14 @Jacksonville @Houston
(defendernetwork.com)

Next two games are against Houston and Jacksonville. The Jaguars could barely touch Luck, only getting one QB hit in their week ten matchup. Formerly Sacksonville, the Jaguars rank 27th in sacks per game, and I fully expect the Colts to put on a repeat performance in their second matchup. Houston ranks 17th in the NFL and put Luck on the ground four times in their overtime matchup in week four. Houston boasts a lethal pass rush led by Jadeveon Clowney and J.J. Watt, but they haven’t faced the new look Colts line with Anthony Castonzo and Braden Smith. This will be one to watch for the sake of the streak.

Week 15 vs Dallas

Next is Dallas, who rank 13th in sacks per game, the best on the Colts road to nine straight. Led by Demarcus Lawrence, the Cowboys again will provide the Indy offensive line with a tough matchup. However, the Colts may have an underrated edge in this matchup on their staff, defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus. Eberflus was the passing game coordinator and linebacker coach for the Cowboys for the past few years and knows that defense inside and out. You could bet your house that Frank Reich will tap into his DC for as much help as possible to keep Luck upright.

This record I am a bit less confident in for a few reasons. First, sacks can come even when the blocking is perfect. Coverage sacks and quarterbacks holding on to the ball too long cause sacks all the time, making. Luckily for the Colts, they boast a quick strike scheme to limit these opportunities, but it only takes one lousy snap to end the streak. Again, one bad snap, with the touchdown record, you’re betting on 60 mins for Luck to have his, but in this record, it takes one blown assignment, one time Luck tries to extend it too long, or even just one play where the defense makes a play to end the streak.

So you’re telling me there’s a chance?

Do these streaks really matter? Not really, I think every Colts fan, player, and coach alike would trade in the streak ending tomorrow for wins in each of those games. However, if the Colts continue both these streaks, it would likely mean the club is putting together great performances anyway.

Again, whatever you do, pray, lucky penny, four-leaf clovers, keep it going, as we need all the help we can get to avoid the jinx.

Article by: Maxx Hotton

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