30-48, 433 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT.
No, those aren’t the stats of Peyton Manning, nor are they the stats of Aaron Rodgers. Those were the stats for rookie Andrew Luck today.
Luck set career marks for attempts, yards, and tied his career high for touchdown passes in a game (and had another one dropped). He was one shy of tying his career high in completions.
He also set the NFL record for the most passing yards in a game by a rookie ever, breaking Cam Newton’s record of 432 from a year ago.
People will rave about Luck’s performance. I will, too. And he deserves everything that is said about him. But I really don’t have any words left to describe how good this guy is. I mean, he plays like a ten year veteran, not a rookie. Through eight games of his rookie season, he has already tied the record for most 300+ yard passing games in a rookie season ever (Peyton Manning, 1998). And he’s played half of a season. The best is still yet to come.
This is coming from a guy who lived and died by every game one of the greatest players in history played. I dissected Peyton Manning’s games quite a bit. I watch a lot of NFL football every weekend. And this game by Andrew Luck today was one of the best quarterbacking performances I have seen. Don’t let the rushing stats deceive you, the Colts really couldn’t run it much of the game. There were multiple drops, including a great throw that would have been a touchdown to T.Y. Hilton.
The offense is playoff ready. Both Donnie Avery (5-108-0) and T.Y. Hilton (6-102-1) had big days. Reggie Wayne was Reggie Wayne once again, catching 7 passes for 78 yards and a score. Dwayne Allen continued to show he will be a great tight end with 6 catches for 75 yards. And even though the run game struggled today, they turned it on with a few big runs late and ended with 97 yards, more than the Dolphins had.
And you know what? Even though the defense has looked bad this year, they still have allowed more than 22 points only three times this year. In fact, the past three games they have allowed an average of 15.3 points per game. This defense showed up today when it counted, allowing only three points in the second half.
The Colts are now in prime position to make the playoffs. They are really in a good position to make the postseason, as unbeliebale as that may seem. They have won three straight, four out of the last five, and stand at 5-3 right now at the midway point of the season.
In four of those five wins, Andrew Luck has led a game winning drive in the fourth quarter. The Colts don’t give up.
And neither does their coach.
The win provided a very special moment in the locker room postgame. Colts head coach Chuck Pagano was in attendance today at Lucas Oil Stadium and was there to greet the players as they came into the locker room after the great win. Pagano was giving the players hugs and the players were so happy to see him. Pagano will enter the hospital again early this week to begin his second round of chemotherapy.
How symbolic of this Colts’ team – the picture of their head coach in the locker room celebrating a win in spite of his leukemia and treatment. Pagano is fighting, and he will win. His team has followed suit, going 4-1 since their coach’s diagnosis and pulling three of them out in the final quarter. They haven’t given up. They’ve been #ChuckStrong.
This Colts team really is something special. The rookies have shown up much earlier than expected. The veterans are rejuvenating their careers (Reggie Wayne and Robert Mathis) and mixing in well with the young guys.
Final score: Colts 23, Dolphins 20. Words can’t describe Andrew Luck’s record-setting performance today. Just spectacular.
Below are some other notes from the Colts’ win today: