Why QBs Andrew Luck, LaMar Jackson, Are Moving In Opposite Directions

    What we saw on Monday night when the Baltimore Ravens met the Indianapolis Colts,  were two quarterbacks moving in opposite directions. We saw Andrew Luck make an inauspicious second preseason appearance. Luck, once a candidate for best quarterback in the sport, has had his body ravaged during the early years of his career by playing with a poorly constructed Colts team that failed at protecting one of the NFLs greatest treasures. 

    A sprained shoulder and lacerated kidney, plus multiple muscle pulls in his abdomen shelved Luck for the final seven games of the 2015 season. A concussion in 2016 and then the torn labrum that sidelined him for the 2017 campaign, are the latest injuries to blitz the 2012 No. 1 pick who seemed destined for Super Bowl stardom. 

    Mike Hill on Twitter

    They need to sit Andrew Luck down. He is OBVIOUSLY hurt. No way he’s gotten this bad healthy. #Colts

    Things done changed.

    After two lackluster preseason performances, its obvious that Luck, at 28, is still trying to regain his former greatness. The three-time Pro Bowler is a long way from 2014 when he led the league with 40 touchdown passes or 2016 when he threw for 4,240 yards and 31 scores.

    Zak Keefer on Twitter

    Andrew Luck’s night is done. Week 1 in Seattle: 6-9, 64 yards. Tonight vs. Baltimore: 6-13, 50 yards, INT. He was sloppy in parts, sharp in others. 2 backup tackles didn’t help. Neither did no TY.

    On Monday, the Stanford product had zero touchdowns with one interception and was sacked twice. While Luck struggles to get back into All-Pro form, Baltimore Ravens rookie LaMar Jackson —  the most unfairly criticized and highly scrutinized player in the 2018 NFL Draft —  has rebounded well from early criticisms about his performance in limited preseason opportunities. 

    ig: josinaanderson on Twitter

    Lamar Jackson with the TD pass for all the folks who already wrote him off in the middle of a preseason game in his rookie year.

    The former Heisman winner from Louisville is getting into a prozone. While Joe Flacco has probably done enough to maintain his starting position, Jackson moved the ball against Indy, (7-of-15 for 49 yards). He threw a TD on a play-action pass and flexed the athleticism that makes him a dynamic signal caller with 26 rushing yards.   

    ESPN on Twitter

    Lamar Jackson with the pinpoint accuracy for the TD. https://t.co/Q1OQL15hkF

    Jackson earned himself a growing contingent of former critics who now prefer his future over Flaccos current predictable shortcomings. 

    Skip Bayless on Twitter

    As raw and shaky as Lamar Jackson has looked, I still say the Ravens would be better with him at QB instead of Flacco. I’ve seen enough of regular-season Fluke-o.

    While Luck is surrounded by suspect talent, Jackson plays for a solid team. Most football heads are picking Indy to finish last in the AFC South. That doesnt bode well for Lucks fortunes and by the end of 2018, Luck could be demanding a trade just to salvage his career. Hopefully Indy can protect him. 

    Jackson is just studying and learning the ropes. He’s a fresh talent with a bright future and we know he’s confident. 

    The Shadow League on Twitter

    Lamar Jackson: “You’re gonna get a Super Bowl out of me, believe that.” #NFLDraft https://t.co/0qPdw9eXse

    Luck remembers those days, and his learning curve was much shorter than Jackson’s. Luck got thrown into the fire, had to follow Peyton Manning and carry the franchise on his back. Jackson can chill behind Flacco, get better and eventually step into a situation where he can be part of the championship solution on a team that can also protect him from getting mauled. 

    JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.