Posted on August 25, 2019, by Travis Pulver
Heading into the 2019 NFL season, the Indianapolis Colts were considered one of the top contenders in the AFC. They were perceived as having a great shot at winning the AFC South (-105 at Bovada.lv) and the AFC (+700 at BetOnline.ag).
As a result, many saw them as having a pretty good chance to win the Super Bowl as well (+1400 at BetOnline.ag). But not anymore. Why? Because quarterback Andrew Luck has decided to retire.
It is not unheard of for a relatively young player to retire at the end of a long season. Guys tire and grow weary of the aches and pains, and they don’t feel like the work and struggle is worth it anymore. But to do so two weeks before a new season is about to start?
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That isn’t as common—which is why Colts fans took the news hard when it leaked Saturday night that their superstar quarterback made the decision he made.
“This is not an easy decision. Honestly, it’s the hardest decision of my life. But it is the right decision for me,” Luck told reporters Saturday night following the Colts preseason game against the Bears, via NFL.com.
“For the last four years or so, I’ve been in this cycle of injury, pain, rehab, injury, pain, rehab, and it’s been unceasing, unrelenting, both in-season and offseason, and I felt stuck in it. The only way I see out is to no longer play football.”
During his short NFL career, Luck has had a long list of injuries, including the shoulder issue that caused him to miss the 2017 season including torn cartilage in 2 ribs, a partially torn abdomen, lacerated kidney, concussion, torn labrum (in throwing shoulder), and the calf/bone/ankle injury that has bothered him most recently
So, it is not hard to see where he is coming from. But at the same time, his departure takes a franchise that many thought had a legitimate shot at winning the Super Bowl and turns them into a longshot, at best.
When the news of his retirement broke Saturday night, sportsbooks took down their Super Bowl, AFC conference, and AFC South odds. They have since gone back up, adjusted to express the new outlook for the Colts (via FanDuel):
· Wins: 6.5 (was 9.5)
· AFC South: +500 (now lowest in the division)
· AFC: +3200
· Super Bowl: +6000
While the picture does look bleak right now for the Colts, they are still a good team. Their defense became one of the better ones in the NFL last season (tenth in points allowed; 21.5 a game). The offensive line had finally become a respectable unit after letting Andrew Luck get beaten up throughout his career, and the team has a good group of players at the skill positions.
But there is a question mark at quarterback now. Yes, Jacoby Brissett did not look bad in 2017 and the team he will be playing with this season is much better.
However, is he a franchise quarterback, though? Is he good enough to keep the Colts competitive or will he be good enough so that they win enough to draft in the middle of the first round after the best available college quarterbacks have been taken?
Those questions will be answered in the days to come—much to the chagrin or delight of Colts fans everywhere.