FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Since entering the league in 2012, Andrew Luck is tied for the third-most rushing touchdowns among NFL quarterbacks. The former first overall pick has used his legs to find the end zone 13 times in his career, which may seem miniscule when comparing it to Cam Newton's 34 touchdowns but Cam is Cam and there's no one like him. That doesn't mean the Jets should question Luck's ability to improvise when they line up across from him.
"He's a problem scrambling," said Jets defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers.
Luck needs 10 rushing yards to pass Bert Jones (1,356) for the second-most yards by a quarterback in franchise history. If he rushes for a touchdown Monday night, Luck will tie Jones for the second-most rushing touchdowns by an Indianapolis Colts quarterback ever. This season he's averaging 4.8 yards per rush and 24.6 yards per game. On the surface, that might not seem like a big deal but late in the fourth quarter, Luck has been known to make plays that decide a game. He has 17 career game-winning drives, but more importantly he can takeoff with the football.
The Colts don’t design runs for Luck, or, use the zone read offense like Russell Wilson and the Seahawks or Newton and the Panthers. He is a threat in the red zone and can scramble from the pocket for 15 yards easy, if the defense doesn’t account for it. Luck isn’t the type to run out of bounds voluntarily. At the University of Stanford, he ran larger than life, truck sticking small defenders in the secondary 30 yards downfield. But as a rookie, Luck showed teams that he didn’t like to slide or get out of bounds and defenders made him regret it. Humbling him with hard hits. Now Luck is experienced and takes off only when it's wise to.
At six-foot-four 240 pounds, Luck is hard to bring down in the pocket. He's similar to Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger: strong arm, great pocket presence. However, the Colts don’t have a top-notch offensive line so the Jets will be able to disrupt protection and get after him. The question is, can they contain him and prevent him from making plays with his feet?
Luck is 0-2 in his career against the Jets, who've intercepted Luck five times and sacked him four. In both games combined, Luck managed just one passing touchdown, posting a quarterback rating of 52.
If there's one knock on Luck's game, it's his decision making- which is unheard of for a Stanford guy. He's had seasons with 18,16, and 12 interceptions. Luck has eight this season but the Jets are near the bottom of the league in takeaways, third worst to be precise. In today's practice though, Rodgers said that the defense forced five or six turnovers. The unit will look to force more of those this Monday night on a primetime platform.
Marcus Reynolds is a staff writer for JetsInsider.com/NYJScout.com. He can be reached on Twitter (@Marcus_JRNL), or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org).