The race to draft Andrew Luck took two interesting turns on Thursday. The first and most notable bit of news was the Indianapolis Colts winning their second game in a row, knocking off the Texans with a last-minute drive. With the victory, the Colts (2-13) are now basically tied with the Rams (2-12) and Vikings (2-12) for the worst record in football.
The Rams will likely lose their last two games of the season (@ Pittsburgh, vs. 49ers), while the Vikings (@ Washington, vs. Bears) have a chance to win a game or two. The Colts end their season on the road against the Jaguars.
As far as the No. 1 pick goes, should one of these three teams have fewer wins than the other two, they automatically clinch the top pick. Should there be a tie, the NFL determines the drafting order by strength of schedule. According to Adam Schefter, the Colts would own the tiebreaker, despite the typo in this tweet:
Even with 2nd win, Colts still pick No. 1 overall today. They clinch No. 1 if they beat Jaguars in last game, according to ESPN research.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 23, 2011
We would have to assume the ESPN insider meant if the Colts 'lose' to Jacksonville they would claim the No. 1 pick, but I guess there's always a chance that isn't correct.
This was not the only interesting tidbit of news surrounding the Andrew Luck Sweepstakes to come out. According to a report, Peyton Manning will play the 2012 season in Indianapolis if he's healthy.
On Thursday, Colts owner Jim Irsay told NFL Network he couldn't foresee a scenario in which Manning would play anywhere but Indianapolis unless he can't play at all.
"I think the situation is if he's back and he's healthy, I see him coming back and playing here," Irsay said in a 10-minute interview before the game with Houston began. "I think the hope is that his health is in the position where he could return again. That remains uncertain and that's something that's first and foremost on my mind."
It will be very interesting to see if Luck has any reservations about not starting immediately, or even for two or three seasons. Manning's future is completely up in the air at this point and the Stanford quarterback may not want to sit on the bench for years to come with the Colts.
This is getting good, folks. The draft is only a few months away. Stay tuned.