Andrew Luck was down to his last shot and his final option to lead the Indianapolis Colts to victory.
Luck dropped back, then moved up to avoid pressure and buy time for a teammate to get open, tossed a short pass to Donnie Avery, and the receiver did the rest – racing untouched for a 14-yard touchdown and giving the Colts a 35-33 comeback win over the Detroit Lions on Sunday.
”You always hesitate throwing the ball not at the end section, for fear of the clock running out with a man in bounds,” Luck said. ”Took the calculated risk that Donnie could get there at the end zone, and he did.”
Luck made all the right moves when it counted most, making his transition from Stanford to the NFL look comparatively smooth to help Indianapolis win a game in a way it hasn’t since just after his first birthday.
Luck has won more games (8) than any rookie quarterback drafted No. 1 overall in the Super Bowl era. He broke the mark by Sam Bradford, who helped St. Louis win seven games 2 years ago, and also surpassed Jim Plunkett in New England Patriots in the 1971 season.
The Indianapolis Colts (8-4) stayed in charge of the AFC wild-card race by winning for the 6th time in 7 games. Luck helped them move a step closer toward being in the playoffs for the 10th time in 11 seasons, only this time without Peyton Manning.
”Some teams find how to win,” Indy interim coach Bruce Arian asserted. ”Others don’t.”
The Detroit Lions (4-8) lost for the 4th straight time, including 3 in a row at home after leading in the final quarter.
”This is a tough league for tough people, and we’ll find out now who is tough,” Detroit coach Jim Schwartz expounded.
Luck is – that’s for sure.
Ndamukong Suh, who got fined $30,000 for kicking Houston QB Matt Schaub last week, sacked Luck on his 1st snap and he was hit and hurried a lot more times by a hard-rushing front.
On the game-winning play, though, Lions let Luck run through a slowly collapsing pocket as the final seconds ticked away and he took advantage.
”If the pass rush does their job, he isn’t getting free the scramble and he never finds that receiver,” Schwartz recounted. ”All game, we targeted on taking away his step-up lanes, and then on the last play, we don’t do it.”
Luck, who was 24 of 54 for 391 yards with 4 TD passes, made up for matching a season-high 3 interceptions by doubling his previous season high with his last TD on the winning, 4th-down play that started with 3 seconds left.
He had 2 interceptions in the 1st half and threw a 3rd in the 4th quarter. He has thrown 13 of his 16 interceptions on the road.
Fellow rookie T.Y. Hilton had 6 receptions for 100 yards and Avery had 5 catches for 91 yards and 2 scores, the 1st of which gave the Indianapolis Colts their only lead – till his 2nd one won the game. Basketball odds