NFL Week 8 takeaways: Kirk Cousins isn’t playing up to his contract

Every week in an NFL season is a learning experience. Here’s what we learned in Week 8…

1. Andrew Luck is (finally) in good hands

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

It only took six years, but the Colts have finally put Andrew Luck in a system that protects him from all those hits that nearly derailed his career. You can credit both head coach Frank Reich and general manager Chris Ballard for this development.

Reich’s West Coast system is built on short, rhythm throws that get the ball out of Luck’s hand quickly. The offense Indy’s running looks awfully similar to the one the Eagles put together for Nick Foles last postseason, with a lot of RPOs and pick routes, with a few more downfield shots mixed in. For an accurate quarterback who makes quick decisions, it’s really the perfect offense.

Ballard deserves an equal share of the credit for putting together an offensive line that has kept the quarterback clean for three straight weeks. He drafted C Ryan Kelly, LG Quenton Nelson and RT Braden Smith in the first two rounds of the last two drafts, and all three have played well in 2018. The Colts are also getting good production from 2017 waiver wire pickup Mark Glowinski. Not only has the line protected Luck, but it’s also opening holes in the running game.

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