INDIANAPOLIS — Andrew Luck's 2015 season began with Super Bowl aspirations.
It ended with the Pro Bowler on the mend.
After fully recovering from those injuries this offseason — and working on some tweaks to his game with a new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach — Luck has returned for the 2016 season better than ever.
And now, with half the season under his belt, others are realizing the work the fifth-year Stanford product is putting in.
ESPN's NFL Live this week held its Midseason Awards program, and Luck was voted as the league's "Midseason Comeback Player of the Year:"
In eight games this season, Luck has completed 198 of 311 passes for 2,284 yards with 16 touchdowns to just five interceptions, while running the ball 36 times for 209 yards and another score.
If you double those numbers for a full, 16-game projection, that puts Luck at 396 of 622 passing for 4,568 yards with 32 touchdowns to 10 interceptions, with 72 rushes for 418 yards and two scores on the ground.
That would give Luck a career best in completion percentage (63.7), completions, rushing attempts and rushing yards, and his 96.2 quarterback rating would be just slightly less than his 96.5 rating in 2014, when he was one of the league's top MVP candidates.
Perhaps what's most impressive about Luck's season this year is his performance under heavy pressure. He's already been sacked a league-high 31 times through eight games; spread out over a whole season, and his 62 sacks would crush his previous career high of 41 from his rookie year.
Colts offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski said this week that the few quarterbacks in the league with Luck's playmaking abilities adds "another dimension" to the position.
"You see a lot of quarterbacks, a lot more quarterbacks nowadays have that dimension and the ability to do that," Chudzinski said. "In today's NFL you almost have to with the pressure packages and the rushers that are in this league and you have to make quarterbacks step aside and be able to sit in the pocket and make plays and that's where you see the real special ones excel. They can make plays by side stepping, not be effected by the rush as well as get out and make plays off time."
In this week's "Midseason Comeback Player of the Year" vote, Luck beat out:
• Jimmy Graham, Seattle Seahawks tight end: 30 receptions for 442 yards and one touchdown.
• Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers wide receiver: 31 receptions for 415 yards and six touchdowns
• Terrell Suggs, Baltimore Ravens linebacker: 19 total tackles, 5.0 sacks.