Two weeks ago, the stories heading into the 2018 regular season matchup between the New England Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts were expected to look a lot different than they do today: Instead of a focus on Josh McDaniels facing the team with which he won two Super Bowl rings as offensive coordinator, it is now McDaniels playing against the team he left at the altar.
The whole affair – Indianapolis announcing McDaniels as its new head coach only to watch him return to New England – was a surprising one; one that ultimately made the Patriots' coordinator a persona non grata among the Colts and their followers. One particular member of the franchise to not like how things turned out appears to be Andrew Luck.
According to The MMQB's Peter King, McDaniels rebuffing the Colts has given the team's quarterback some extra motivation to play the Patriots moving forward:
McDaniels walking away from the Colts has given Luck a shot of motivational adrenaline that he didn’t have before Tuesday. Not that it’s going to make him work extra hard in rehab from his shoulder injury. But that every time the Colts play the Patriots (starting in 2018, assuming Luck is healthy enough to play), it’s going to be a mega-game for Luck. This basically is along the lines of, So you decided we weren’t good enough for you? Okay. We’ll see what happens when we meet again.
Using the McDaniels saga as motivation is to be expected – every athlete tries to get an extra mental edge. Luck, who is still rehabbing from a shoulder injury that forced him to miss the entire 2017 season, however, should probably not need any additional influx of “motivational adrenaline” when going against the Patriots.
After all, he has yet to defeat New England and has looked far from his usual Pro Bowl self when going up against the team. Overall, Luck is 0-5 against the Patriots with two of the losses coming in the playoffs. During the games, the 28-year old completed only 53% of his passes for averages of 281 yards per game to go along with 1.8 touchdown passes and 2 interceptions.
Improving those number and especially the win-loss column should be all the motivation needed.