INDIANAPOLIS — A year after five different quarterbacks logged at least one game of action for the Indianapolis Colts, the team saw just two quarterbacks under center in 2016.
That's largely because starter Andrew Luck — who missed nine games with various injuries the year prior — was able to stay mostly healthy throughout the year. And in the one instance in which he was unable to play due to a concussion, backup Scott Tolzien, who played sparingly in a couple other games, stepped in and showed what he was made of.
As a position individually, the quarterbacks shined for the Colts in 2016, as Luck turned in perhaps the best performance of his career.
Here's a review of the play of the Colts' quarterbacks in 2016:He's back
The 2016 season saw the return of Luck, who missed nine games in 2015. Luck returned to form and ranked in the Top 10 in the league in passing yards (4,240, eighth), passing touchdowns (31, fifth) and quarterback rating (96.4, ninth).
Perhaps the biggest indication of Luck's progression was his pass completion percentage of 63.5, which was about two percentage points higher than his previous career best.
Luck in 2016 also continued to show his poise in the clutch, as he had four fourth quarter game-winning drives throughout the year: Sept. 25 vs. San Diego, Oct. 9 vs. Chicago, Oct. 23 vs. Tennessee and Jan. 1 vs. Jacksonville.
All four of those comeback wins were sealed by Luck touchdown passes — two each to T.Y. Hilton and Jack Doyle.
Luck also turned in perhaps the best overall performance of his career Dec. 5 against the New York Jets, as Luck completed 22 of 28 passes for 278 yards and four touchdowns — for a career-best quarterback rating of 147.6 — in Indianapolis' 41-10 victory at MetLife Stadium.On deck
After the retirement of Matt Hasselbeck, the Colts signed Scott Tolzien as their backup quarterback during the 2016 offseason, bringing in a player with prior experience learning and developing under another elite quarterback in Aaron Rodgers.
Tolzien overcame a slow start in his debut to turn in a quality preseason for the Colts to prepare for the regular season, as he completed 41 of 62 (66.1 percent) of his passes for 390 yards with two touchdowns to one interception in the four games.
He would play in three games in the regular season, none of which more important than the Colts' Week 12 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thanksgiving Night. Starting in relief of Luck, who was in the concussion protocol, Tolzien completed 22-of-36 passes for 205 yards, one touchdown and one interception for a 62.8 passer rating. He cut the Steelers' lead to 14-7 with his five-yard touchdown pass to Donte Moncrief in the second quarter. It was his second career touchdown and his first since Nov. 10, 2013 as a member of the Packers.Other notes
Stephen Morris returned for the 2016 season, which was mostly spent on the Colts' practice squad. He was active for one game: as Tolzien's backup in the Week 12 game against the Steelers, though he did not see any action.
Morris had an impressive preseason for the Colts in 2016, as he completed 39 of 61 passes (63.9 percent) for 531 yards with four touchdowns to one interception, and a passer rating of 106.7. He also ran eight times for 50 yards and a touchdown.Number to remember
18: The number of game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime in Luck's career, including the four he engineered in 2016.
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