How Andrew Luck’s Retirement Decision Changes The Atlanta Falcons Season

Atlanta Falcons Matt Ryan (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Atlanta Falcons Matt Ryan (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

On Saturday, the NFL was in shock to hear the news that Andrew Luck, the Indianapolis Colts quarterback, announced his retirement. With the Colts on the Falcons schedule in Week 3, how will this affect the Falcons moving toward the season?

Andrew Luck was drafted in 2012 as the number one overall pick. The hype he garnered coming into the league was comparable to John Elway and Peyton Manning. And, he mostly lived up to that hype. Coming into a cratering franchise who had the number one pick in the draft, Indianapolis Colts, Luck led his team to the playoffs in his first season. Luck was an immediate success in the NFL and looked like a next great, Super Bowl-winning quarterback.

Yet, even with all the success in his young career, Luck was dealt many obstacles. The shoulder injury combined with a lacerated kidney would shorten his 2015 campaign. That same shoulder problem would keep him out of the entire 2017 season. This offseason, it was a calf injury that worked it’s way down to his ankle that was keeping Luck on the sidelines this preseason. All of those injuries were just too much for Luck overcome. He decided to walk away.

With Luck out of the NFL, the Colts are left with Jacoby Brissett as the presumed starting quarterback going into the season. Brissett started with the New England Patriots as the third string quarterback behind Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo before being traded to the Colts in the wake of the Andrew Luck injury problems. In 2017, played all 16 games, throwing for 3000 yards, 13 TDs, and 7 INTs. Brissett is a serviceable backup, but a clear downgrade at starting quarterback.

Now, enough about the Colts. What does this mean for the Atlanta Falcons? In the three opening games of the regular season, the Falcons had the Minnesota Vikings, Philadelphia Eagles, and Indianapolis Colts on the schedule. That is a daunting three-game’s to open the season for any team. Now, with Andrew Luck off the Colts, it’s looking a lot more manageable for Atlanta going into the regular season. What could have been an 0-3 start to the regular season very easily can just as easily be a 2-1, 3-0 start for the Falcons.

The shocking news of Andrew Luck’s retirement is still reverberating through the league. A lot has changed within the NFL after the star quarterback’s announcement, including the Atlanta Falcons outlook on the start of the season. What can be franchise-changing news for one team can be a more optimistic look on the upcoming season for another team. The Atlanta Falcons have no choice of their schedule, they simply have to play what’s put in front of them. After Saturday, the outlook looks a little bit better for the Atlanta Falcons.