Andrew Luck cast as next Captain America

Welcome to the Podcast AF offseason review series, astutely titled “The Probe” – the unofficial official NFL offseason review series of the Vegas Golden Knights. Here, like most NFL “writers”, I will regurgitate takes I read or heard somewhere else and pass them off as original thoughts. Will Ryan Tannehill breakout in 2018? Was Mike McCarthy abandoned by the run game as a child? Does Saturn have a playoff atmosphere? Your questions, answered! Sponsored by “Ready Player One”, in theaters now!

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#9 – The Indianapolis Colts (4-12, Last AFC South)

When I was young – like 4 or 5 – I would play my Pokémon Red or Gold versions and focus solely on my starter. I’d fall in love with my Charizard or Feraligatr and they’d be go-to guy throughout the entire game. They’d be my John Mayer; my toasted almond coffee; my Lisa Ann.

The problem was I’d get to the Elite Four, the rest of team would suck, and Aerodactyl would drops rocks on Charizard’s wings and then I’m screwed. Even making it as far as I did speaks to how powerful Charizard is, but with no one else to help him it was hopeless.

Pretty on the nose analogy right?

It still baffles me that there are people who think Andrew Luck is overrated. Peyton Manning won MVPs in 2008 and 2010 because he dragged rosters filled with dead weight and talentless spoons to the playoffs. He was Travis Barker during the recording of Enema of the State.

Luck did the same thing each of his first three seasons. With virtually the same 2011 roster, the 2012 Colts made the playoffs with Luck as a rookie. In 2013 Luck and the Colts overcame a 28-point deficit to beat the Chiefs in the wild card round. In 2014 they knocked off the power-house Broncos before being eliminated by the Patriots and their deflated footballs.

Then in 2015 and 2016, Luck was not healthy, missing nine games in 2015 and visibly injured in 2016. So he takes all of 2017 off, and the Colts go 4-12. In at least four of these probes I’ve talked about how the goal for teams is to get a quarterback that can makeup for deficiencies in multiple other parts of the roster. That’s what Luck does when he’s healthy. Those parts of the roster screwed Jacoby Brissett in 2017.

I’ll save that thought for the Jacoby Brissett defense column. With a healthy Luck, who threw nerf balls today, the Colts will easily win 8 games, even with last year’s roster.

But the Colts don’t have last year’s roster. They didn’t go balls out in free agency by any means, but they added interior line depth, Eric Ebron (who will have Andrew Luck throwing him the ball), Christine Michael, and I would say they stole Ryan Grant, a criminally underrated WR, but that would be like saying Brock Osweiler stole $72M from the Texans.

Trading down with the Jets means the Colts have the 6 pick and a ton of draft capital to add to this offense. Quenton Nelson would make sense to add to LT Anthony Castonzo, C Ryan Kelly, and OGs Jack Mewhort and Matt Slausen. Nelson would immediate start at one G position and the Colts would have depth in case their offensive line turns into The Killing Fields again. And running behind them is Marlon Mack, who flashed versatility and production in spite of that line in his rookie year. Combine an elite QB with actual talent and Frank Reich’s offense, the Colts are as dangerous as any AFC South team in 2018.

DEFENSE:

Movie Comparison: “X-Men: The Last Stand.” Haven’t seen it, don’t know if I’ll like it, have heard it’s really bad.

This was a horrific group, ranking bottom five in all the major defensive categor –

NO NO NO! THEY WERE ONLY 26TH AGAINT THE RUN! THAT’S 7TH WORST!

*Twitter pic, probably*

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Matt Eberflus is switching to 3-4 this season. Ya know how the Colts have 3 shitty LBs? Now they need to start four of them. It doesn’t work exactly like that (3-4 and 4-3 OLBs aren’t the same species), but it appears the Colts aim to bolster the pass rush. It’s unclear if any DEs can move to OLB, but given the personnel that seems unlikely. Jabaal Sheard, Henry Anderson, Al Woods, and Margus Hunt will work the DL while I presume last year’s LBs will be back with guys they draft. Yeah it’s a 4-3 I had it backwards. If you can decipher the “Sheard, Anderson, Woods, and Hunt” part then those 4 will probably be your starting DL, pending the draft. They still need to start 3 LBs and those they retained from last year are quite the people that brought food into A Quiet Place.

The secondary actually has a bright future. Malik Hooker was having a fine rookie year prior to tearing his ACL and MCL, and will play the Earl Thomas role in Eberflus’ Seattle-style defense. Clayton Geathers and TJ Green are fine strong safeties, so a competition between those two is a good thing. Rounding out a solid 2017 draft class are CBs Quincy Wilson, who will likely be the CB1 after a solid rookie year, and Nate Hairston, who played well in the slot. Kenny Moore is currently expected to be the CB2 and had a good 2017, but that could change.

If the Colts can secure a good pass rusher in the draft or get an effective rotation going they can use the looming secondary to cover up the black hole at linebacker. Plus if Andrew Luck is healthy and slinging The Duke, the defense may not have to be on the field too much…

Major Draft Needs: LB, OG

Reader Question: 

Yo! Did you check out Ready Player One yet? – Ty from Texas

I actually had an advanced screening since they sponsor this series. It appears very divisive but I’m more of a simpleton for movies so the whole easter egg/reference thing doesn’t bother me. I loved seeing Chappie, the Arkham Knight, and also a bunch of Master Chiefs charging into battle. I don’t think it was phenomenal, but I did like it. There were times where the a line of dialogue was notably delivered very poorly or the line itself was cringeworthy, but that doesn’t ruin a movie for me.

“YOU KILLED MY MOM’S SISTER!” …Aunt?

Prisco’s Pickanosis:

In honor of Pete Prisco telling me I’m dumb and that I’ll fail, here’s this entry’s edition of “Prisco’s Pickanosis,” where I highlight something the Tom Brady of acting like an infant on Twitter was completely wrong about.

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Jacoby Brissett lost the second-most receptions to receiver error in the NFL, while simultaneously being the best deep sideline passer in the league (info via Cian Fahey’s 2018 QB Catalogue). Moving on.