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Andrew Luck Recap: Game Fifteen vs. Chiefs

Every week, Stampede Blue's Josh Wilson will take an in-depth look at Andrew Luck's game from the previous weekend. Today we look at his performance in the fifteenth game against the Chiefs.

Jamie Squire

Andrew Luck is good.

I know, that's the easiest statement to write that there is when doing an Andrew Luck recap, but it's true. He just keeps improving and keeps impressing. At times this year, he has struggled with overthrowing on some passes and misfiring on some others. He seems to be settling down and that has led to Luck playing very good football recently. In the last three weeks, he has completed 64.35 percent of his passes for 747 yards, 7 touchdowns and only 1 pick for a passer rating of 99.44, all while also adding 66 yards on the ground.

The offensive line has been much more stable and has given him more time to throw, but much more significantly it has calmed Luck down. Before it seemed like he was sensing pressure that wasn't really there because he had become so accustomed to actually being pressured. Now, he has been able to settle down and is on one of the best stretches he has had this entire year.

Chuck Pagano talked about Luck on Monday and how much better he is now, despite several season-ending injuries:

"It's a great question. I guess it just speaks to, we know all the intangibles. We know the tangibles. We know the skill set, all those things. He's one of those guys that is able to stay in the moment, if you will. Regardless of who is out there, he's going to find a way to get the job done. Losing the players that we've lost, especially on offense. You lose Dwayne (Allen). You lose two runners in Vick (Ballard) and Ahmad (Bradshaw) and of course the number one target, Reggie (Wayne) goes down. He's got a lot of faith and a lot of trust in his teammates. Those guys are all accountable. They're accountable to each other. And they stepped up. He's not one to, he's not going to walk in here because we lost this guy, that guy and whatever. He's just one of those guys that's got a great attitude and it doesn't matter what the circumstances are. He's going to find a way to win the football game and he wills his team to win games. He's a great competitor that way. He's got that ‘it' factor."

He definitely does, and Luck is continuing to get better and is settling down now. Just like the rest of the Colts, it appears that Andrew Luck is getting hot at the right time as the playoffs are quickly approaching.


General: 26/37 (70.27%), 241 yards (6.51 yards per attempt), 1 TD, 0 INT, 96.8 passer rating, 55.1 QBR, 1 sack, 3 rushes attempts for 7 yards and 0 touchdowns (2.3 yards per carry) (not including three kneel downs)

Number of Drives: 11 (not including one drive that consisted of just one kneel down to end the first half)

Number of Plays: 69 (not including three kneel downs)

Number of Passing Plays: 41 (59.42%)

Shotgun Snaps (pass plays): 29 (70.73% of pass plays)

Play Action Attempts: 2 (4.88% of pass plays)

Drops: 2 (4.88% of pass plays)

Passes Charted by Field Position:

Number stands for the number of the player who caught the pass. X stands for an incomplete pass (number in parenthesis was intended receiver). Blue number stands for a touchdown. Red X stands for an interception. Green X stands for a drop. Red headings along upper and lefthand side indicate how the areas of the field are broken down


* IMPORTANT NOTE: All of these statistics are not guaranteed to be 100% accurate whatsoever and some of them (number of plays pressured) are subjective. While I strive to be entirely accurate and correct, these numbers are prone to inerrancies occasionally. Either way, they will give you a very good idea of the point being made.

Other Notes:

  • Andrew Luck has thrown for 7,914 yards in his first two years in the league (with one game left), the second most of all time. He passed Peyton Manning (7,874 yards) on Sunday and needs just 7 yards to pass Cam Newton (7,920 yards) for the most all-time through a player's first two seasons. With a game still left on the schedule, I'm guessing Luck will get the record - maybe even on his first pass. Newton also held the record for most passing yards by a rookie until Luck also broke that record last year.
  • This year, Peyton Manning is the no-brainer MVP of the league, and he should be the unanimous MVP at that. But of those other players who are in the discussion (however slim the discussion is), Tom Brady has been right at the front of it. Interestingly, Andrew Luck's stats compare very well with Brady's Both have done this while dealing with injuries and, at times this season, both have dealt with lesser wide receiver play and talent. It's very interesting to look at their seasons this year when compared side by side.

Andrew Luck vs. Tom Brady in 2013
Cmp/Att Cmp % Yards YPA TD TD % INT INT % Rating QBR Rush Attempts Rush Yards Rush TDs Wins Losses
Andrew Luck 317/533 59.5 3,540 6.64 22 4.13 9 1.69 86.0 61.1 61 370 4 10 5
Tom Brady 366/604 60.6 4,221 6.99 24 3.97 10 1.65 88.0 62.9 28 21 0 11 4

  • This picture isn't great quality at all, but it's clear enough to see my point - that is T.Y. Hilton, and he is WIDE OPEN. Andrew Luck threw the ball to Hilton, but it was short and the receiver had to come back to the ball and go to the ground in the process. He was so wide open that he had time to get up and run a bit, but he was tackled. All in all, it was a 31 yard gain for the Colts, but had Luck hit Hilton more on target, that's a touchdown. I said earlier that he has settled down after misfiring on several passes earlier in the year, and while that is true, Luck still isn't perfect.


  • Neither are his receivers. LaVon Brazill simply has to catch this. This is a touchdown if he catches it. Dan Dierdorf got it right on the TV broadcast on CBS when he said, "that's why you are a wide receiver, for that opportunity" and that, for those who thought Luck was a few inches off - "it's hard to be that precise." If his receivers aren't catching these types of passes, then they're asking Luck to be perfect, down to the very inch. That's way too much for any quarterback to have on his shoulders. Brazill has to pull this one in.


      What Others Are Saying (or said during the game):

      <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Andrew Luck is really starting to play good football. The mysterious &quot;sail ball&quot; has disappeared for most of the last month.</p>&mdash; Nate Dunlevy (@NateDunlevy) <a href="">December 23, 2013</a></blockquote>

      <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script>

      Kevin Patra,

      "Luck is doing his best Peyton Manning impression, making borderline NFL receivers look good. Griff Whalen -- on the practice squad three weeks ago -- had seven catches for 80 yards."

      Overall Game Grade: B +