Andrew Luck has not played his best football over the last month. This isn't been a big storyline for a few good reasons:
1. The Indianapolis Colts keep winning.
2. Luck still plays his best in the fourth quarter with the game on the line.
3. Luck still is playing at a high level for a rookie and makes a few "wow" plays a game.
I've been hesitant to write about Luck's relative struggles for these reasons, but Sunday's game against the Tennessee Titans was too much to ignore. Luck repeatedly missed receivers. His accuracy and timing were well off for most of the game. Watching Luck every week, it feels like his play might have peaked around Week 9 against the Miami Dolphins.
It got me to wonder: Has all the hits Luck has taken this season finally caught up to him?
Luck's offensive line has not played well all season, but it has been especially poor lately. They are injured and not that talented. It's hard to separate Luck's inconsistency of late with the guys in front of him. Other than Michael Vick and the Arizona quarterbacks, we don't think another quarterback has taken such a consistent beating all season.
"Nothing other than just bruises," Arians responded. "That's part of the game. You'd like for him to slow down and stop, but they're going to happen."
The Colts beat a bad Titans team largely because their defense essentially put ten points on the board. Luck also played his best in the fourth quarter, like he did a week before against the Detroit Lions. Before Luck's miracle rally against the Lions, he had suffered through one of his worst games of the year. Luck said he focuses on bouncing back after taking a big shot.
"It doesn't work every time and sometimes you fall in the trap of worrying about something you shouldn't be worrying about," Luck said. "But, I don't know, you realize part of football is getting hit and if we have a chance to win, just like every other guy in this locker room, you're going to play as hard as you can and try and help out."
Luck has the right skill set and attitude to deal with all the hits. But with two games left against the Houston Texans before the playoffs -- including one this Sunday -- the pounding may be too much for any quarterback to overcome.Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.