He hasn't been perfect, but Mariota's pro-ready footwork and careful decision-making are part of the reason that interim coach Mike Mularkey exited Sunday's win over the Saints without a sack allowed by his embattled offensive line.
Still, the problem with the AFC South boils down to one ugly flaw: Nobody seems to want this division, which feels destined to be taken by an eight- or seven-win -- or even six-win -- squad.
If Luck's absence veers closer to two weeks than six, this remains Indy's division to lose. Especially after seeing 40-year-old Matt Hasselbeck drum up back-to-back wins in October over Jacksonville and Houston.
However, if Luck is out for a month-plus, the other three clubs in this wayward race have no further excuses. The table has been set for a stunner -- will anyone answer the call?