Similar to the Aaron Rodgers/Brandon Marshall matchup and Robert Griffin III/Dez Bryant, it is hard to conceive of a situation in which Paul Poslusny secures even double-digit percentage points against Andrew Luck in this “Be The GM” edition.
No quarterback has come into the NFL in which there was as much certainty that he would become elite as Luck since Peyton Manning in 1998. Luck’s individual statistics were fairly pedestrian in 2012, but he helped take a flawed Indianapolis Colts team back to the playoffs with an 11-5 record.
Luck had a passer rating of jut 76.5 while completing 339 of his 627 attempts with 23 touchdowns against 18 interceptions. The Colts’ offensive line was a big liability for Luck and they allowed him to be hit more than any other quarterback in the NFL. The Colts improved their offensive line in the offseason and it is conceivable that Luck’s passer rating jumps nearly 20 points in his second season as Manning’s did in 1999 (71.2 to 90.7).
Bruce Arians had a huge impact in Luck’s rookie season and with his departure to become head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, the Colts hired Pep Hamilton of Stanford. Luck expects the Colts’ offense to be a hybrid of Arians’ offense and the West Coast that Hamilton ran at Stanford. Luck’s low completion percentage will almost certainly improve moving away from Arians’ system.
Another issue for Luck in his rookie season was the absence of an effective running game. With the threat of the run established, Luck will see defenses not able to cheat as often as they were in 2012.
Luck, similar to Aaron Rodgers, is effective as a runner on occasion. Luck finished his rookie season with 255 yards and five touchdowns on 62 attempts.
The team success came sooner than expected for Luck and the statistics will almost certainly catch up with his physical and mental profile.
Posluszny’s career has been spent on underperforming teams with the Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars, but he has been unquestionably productive. Posluszny won’t turn 29 until October, but has become measurably better over the course of his twenties. Posluszny is the kind of high volume tackler you want from a middle linebacker and he is beginning to emphasize the need to make high-impact plays. Last season he had three interceptions, seven passes defensed and two forced fumbles.
Similar to Luck, Posluszny has high-level intangibles and is the leader of a Jaguars’ defense that figures to improve in 2013.