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Jaguars vs. Colts: Luck’s performance will be telling for the future of the AFCS

Expectations for Andrew Luck and the Colts are high this season after a down year last year. What does the future of the AFC South look like if the Colts have a poor outing vs. the Jaguars?

Jacksonville Jaguars v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Jaguars take on the Indianapolis Colts tomorrow in London at 9:30 A.M. ET, in a game in which a win would change everything for the Jaguars, whereas a loss would likely result in the firing of some of the coaching staff and give the Jaguars a 0-4 record heading into the second quarter of the season.

As a Jaguars fan, you know that the team has problems. You probably know my ideas in order to fix said problems include canning the coaching staff. My words are pretty much a broken record — Nothing changes until something does.

But, that’s not what this article is about.

Rather, this piece is more about the Colts than the Jaguars.

Ever since the AFC South was created, the Colts have always been at or near the top of the division with a great quarterback under center in Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck.

In the first three years of his career, Luck displayed absolute dominance over not only the AFC South, but the entire NFL. Luck went 16-2 vs. the AFC South in 2012-2014, and quickly became one of the best and most respected QBs in the league.

And then 2015 happened.

We all know the highlight: The Jaguars flat out embarrassed the Colts in their second meeting in 2015 by a score of 51-16.

The Jaguars were also very close to beating the Colts in Indianapolis in week four by a score of 13-16, after Jason Myers missed what would have been a game-winning field goal in two tries. After missing the first, he got another chance due to a Colts penalty, but went on to miss again and send the game to overtime, where the Colts won the game.

Luck played in neither game due to injuries. He missed the final eight games of the season due to a lacerated kidney and a torn abdominal muscle. However, even though he missed significant time due to said injuries, he looked pretty bad in his seven games that he played in. He threw 12 interceptions and held a completion percentage of 55%.

The Colts went 8-8 and no longer look like the powerhouse they once were.

The final record falls on Luck as well, even though he was limited throughout the year to the injuries I said above. In his seven games that he actually played in, the Colts went 2-5.

All in all, Andrew Luck had a career-changing year. He missed over half of the season and played very poorly when he actually saw the field. After coming off of a 11-5, 40 TD 2014 campaign, Luck looked miserable, and so did the rest of the team.

Through three games this year, Luck has looked decent, but the team itself has been no better. They stand at 1-2, with their only win coming against San Diego, where Luck and the Colts’ offense looked terrible, as he scored his only TD on a 4th quarter TD pass to T.Y. Hilton. Most of Luck’s high numbers — 913 yards, 5 TDs, and a 61% completion percentage — have come in losses and garbage time.

In this past week, Luck has been on the injury report with an aggravated shoulder. However, he is going to play on Sunday and team owner Jim Irsay said that Luck won’t need surgery and the injury isn’t a serious issue. However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t an issue.

So, what am I getting to?

Well, as I said before, the Colts were once the powerhouse of the division. After last year’s total meltdown, they no longer are.

The AFC South is hot garbage and most likely the worst division in the entire NFL. No team from the division is a true playoff team.

As long as the Colts continue to struggle and Andrew Luck faces potential injury woes, the AFC South will remain a division without identity.

The Jaguars can have their say in the future of the AFC South by winning tomorrow. A win for the Jaguars would put them ahead of the Colts in division standings, even though both teams would be 1-3.

If the Jaguars can beat the Colts and bang Andrew Luck up with their pass rush, which has certainly looked better this year than in year’s past with Malik Jackson, Yannick Ngakoue, and Dante Fowler Jr. leading the pack, this game can very much impact the future of the AFC South.

The Colts are looking to rebound after a miserable 2015 and regain their former control of the division. The Jaguars, although they have their multitude of problems, can very much prevent that tomorrow in London.