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Andrew Luck’s shocking retirement leaves the Falcons facing Jacoby Brissett in Week 3

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It may have happened anyways, but the game has changed.

NFL: NOV 22 Colts at Falcons Photo by Frank Mattia/Icon Sportswire/Corbis via Getty Images

With Andrew Luck’s mysterious injuries becoming a recurring thing, it would not have been a surprise if the Falcons had just faced Jacoby Brissett in their Week 3 matchup at Lucas Oil Stadium. Now it’s a certainty, because Andrew Luck retired.

I have been walking around saying “wow” out loud for about an hour now, and not just because I have a fantasy draft tomorrow where I’ll need to replace him. This is a phenomenally gifted quarterback who had been derailed repeatedly by injuries and ineptitude around him, and hanging it up at age 29 when you can still play—injuries being the obvious caveat here—is a stunning turn of events.

From a purely football respect for the Falcons, it adds some clarity to what they’ll be facing in Week 3. The Colts have to be thanking their lucky stars that they acquired Jacoby Brissett, who was very good considering the circumstances in a rough 2017 season for the Colts when he tossed 13 touchdowns, ran for four more, and took 52 sacks behind a pockmarked offensive line. Now he’s stepping into a situation at age 26 where he has multiple years in the offense, a vastly upgraded supporting cast, and no looming return of the franchise player. I’m rooting for him to seize the job and keep it long-term, because he has the talent to do so.

The Falcons obviously will benefit a bit on paper from not facing Luck, who despite his turnovers and tendency to take unnecessary contract was a strong-armed, lethal passer on his very best days. Brissett’s a savvy passer in his own right and is mobile enough to give the Falcons’ new look defense fits, and as I’ve now mentioned several times, he won’t lack for weapons. This hardly makes the game considerably easier for Atlanta, though Week 3 is still their easiest matchup of the young season because they have to face the Vikings and Eagles ni the first two weeks.

I’m hoping Luck’s decision makes him happy, and that the Colts fare well enough to erase the obvious sting the decision will cause. At the moment, it’s still just one of the more shocking pieces of NFL news in recent seasons, and we’ll see how this pretty loaded Colts offense looks like Brissett now permanently at the helm.