Last night, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck shocked the football world by announcing his retirement at the conclusion of the teams’ preseason game versus the Chicago Bears.
— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) August 25, 2019
Luck has been battered by injuries throughout his career and had not played in any of the Colts’ preseason games this season.
Physical toll on Andrew Luck through 6 NFL seasons:
» Torn cartilage in 2 ribs
» partially torn abdomen
» a lacerated kidney that left him peeing blood
» at least 1 concussion
» a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder
» and this mysterious calf/ankle issue that led to this
— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) August 25, 2019
Even playing behind the Colts’ porous offensive line, Luck put up some of the best numbers for a quarterback through his first six seasons in NFL history, trailing only Dan Marino and Aaron Rodgers for most touchdowns according to ESPN Stats & Info.
While the news is obviously a big blow the the NFL at large, especially to lose a talent like Luck and a tragic reminder of the often overlooked humanity of the players, Luck’s retirement could also have a big impact on the Steelers season.
With Jacoby Brissett the presumptive starter in Indianapolis, the Steelers’ November 3rd game at home versus the Colts seems much less daunting. The Colts had been ranked as the 8th best team in the NFL in ESPN’s Preseason Power Rankings and 4th best in the AFC. That ranking is sure to take a hit with Luck’s retirement.
How big is the drop off between Brisset and Luck? Caeser’s Sportsbook had the Colts at 12-1 to win the Super Bowl before Luck’s announcement. It now sits at 30-1. It’s a massive blow for the Colts’ playoff and Super Bowl chances and a boost for every other team in the AFC, including the Steelers.
The Steelers will not only benefit from having to face an untested quarterback when they play the Colts in November. Simply put, that game moves from a toss-up to one the Steelers (barring any trades or catastrophic injures to Ben Roethlisberger) should win. The path to the AFC Playoffs also becomes easier with an additional wild card spot up for grabs. Even if the Steelers don’t manage to win the division, their chances of making the playoffs as a wild card have improved.
The Colts and the NFL at large may suffer with the loss of a quarterback like Luck, who seemed to be on the road to greatness, but it’s not unfair to say that the Steelers may benefit.