After Andrew Luck unexpectedly announced his retirement, expectations for the Indianapolis Colts took an immediate and swift hit. Punters in Las Vegas dropped the betting line for the team’s win total from 9.5 to 6.5, and we moved our projection in the same direction, though less severely, from 9.1 to 7.1. The number-crunching mavens at FiveThirtyEight went as far as to suggest the team’s prospects were poor enough with Jacoby Brissett behind center that tanking for a new franchise QB was a viable option.
Instead of writing off 2019, Colts general manager Chris Ballard chose to double down on recent investments in the draft and free agency by securing the services of his new starting quarterback with a contract worthy of a foundational player. The plan wasn’t to wait but to win. That included transforming their offense to account for the loss of Andrew Luck while matching the skills and limitations of Jacoby Brissett.