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Andrew Luck after latest loss: 'I've got to play better'

For three years Andrew Luck propped up a flawed Indianapolis Colts team. Now that the quarterback is struggling, the ship is springing leaks that threaten to sink the season.

"I'd say I'm frustrated up here," Luck said after Sunday's 27-21 loss to the New Orleans Saints. "I think as a unit, we're frustrated and I'm frustrated with myself. Some egregious turnovers, especially the one at the end of the half. It's really bad football."

The final score and numbers belie the truth: Luck has been substandard all season.

Sunday highlighted his lack of trust in both his injured shoulder and dismal offensive line. Luck appears gun-shy when he used to pull the trigger confidently. He's either piling up check-downs and short crossing passes or hanging onto the ball way too long in the pocket.

"I've got to play better," Luck said, via the Indy Star. "I'm sure everybody in the locker room will say the same thing, but I've got to play better."

That's an understatement for a man with preseason MVP aspirations.

On Sunday, Luck started 0-of-5 passing for the first time in his career. He didn't complete his first pass until the 9:09 mark of the second quarter. He ended the day completing 23 of 44 passes (52.3 percent) for 333 yards, two interceptions and three touchdowns -- two of the three scores came when Saints corner Delvin Breaux fell down and after Indy trailed 21-0.

This hasn't been a one-week issue for Luck either. He is on pace for a career worst in yards per attempt (6.66), interceptions (projected to be 25) and passer rating (76.3). He has yet to complete more than 60 percent of his passes in a single game this season.

"It's not something that we're going to bury our head in the sand and say, 'Hey everything is okay,'" coach Chuck Pagano said, via the team's official website. "It's just like everything else, we're going to look at that, we're going to look at everything. We all know what he's capable of and the player that he is and all that stuff, but again we're going to go back in there, we're going to look at him, we got to get it fixed."

At 3-4, the Colts coaching staff rests firmly on the hot seat and the front office might join them. Those issues stand separately. In the grand scheme of things, they should also sit secondary to the concern about Luck's play. Coaches and GMs can be replaced. Franchise quarterbacks are in scarce supply.

Luck can save the season and maybe even his coaches. But first, he needs to save himself. 

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