AFC South: Time for rest of the division to step up

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Nov 8, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) runs out of the pocket in the first half against the Denver Broncos at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

According to CBS Sports’ Jason La Confora, Indianapolis Colts’ star quarterback Andrew Luck will miss 2-6 weeks with abdominal injuries and lacerations.

It’s a crushing blow for an already-sluggish Colts team. Through seven games, Luck completed under 56 percent of his passes, tossed 15 touchdowns to go along with 12 interceptions. Those numbers are good for a 74.9 quarterback rating. The supposed high-powered offense has been stuck in molasses.

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The young gunslinger is in the midst of his worst season as a pro, as costly mistakes, bone-headed turnovers and timidness have hindered him, as well as his entire team. The worst part about the loss of Luck is that Indianapolis hasn’t exactly built too much of a cushion in the division. The Colts’ 4-5 record is only two more wins than the last-place team.

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How much better are the Colts anyways? Earlier in the season, they played every team in the division in three straight weeks. Yes, they won, but it was by a combined score of 12. Granted, two of those games were won by Matt Hasselbeck.

However, this isn’t about Luck’s Colts. This is about Brian Hoyer‘s Texans, Marcus Mariota‘s Titans and Blake Bortles‘ Jaguars. That’s right; the two-win Jaguars and Titans and the three-win Texans are suddenly alive in the dreadful AFC South. Check for flying pigs if you’d like.

There’s obviously a chance the Colts hold on and squash any hope for a Cinderella story. They have a bunch of veterans who know what it takes to win. So I’m not ready to completely write off the Colts, but perhaps Tim Hasselbeck said it best.

“I know my brother played well in the two games he started this season,” Tim Hasselbeck said, according to Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk. “But I think anyone can attest … it’s one thing when it’s a shoulder injury and you have a backup that’s going to play one week, two weeks, three weeks maybe. We’re in a situation where they have a 40-year-old backup that’s potentially going to play half of their football games this year. Half of them!”

He’s not wrong at all, as 40-year-old quarterbacks don’t exactly excel, especially in a starting capacity. However, all the elder Hasslebeck has to do is keep the ship steady and win a few games so when Luck comes back, all isn’t lost.

But with some talented teams in the division, that might be easier said than done.

Next: Grabbing the bull by the horns