The Colts’ season opener on Sunday was vintage Andrew Luck. Down big early on, Luck put the team on his back to lead them to a thrilling, come-from-behind victory... almost. Though Luck did put the Colts ahead with 37 seconds left in the game, the defense gave the lead right back up to allow the Lions to win on a field goal in the final seconds.
But don’t let the result diminish what Luck did on Sunday: he was phenomenal. Magnificent. Special. Whatever you want to call it, it was one of the quarterback’s finest career performances.
He completed 31 of 47 passes (66%) for 385 yards (8.2 yards per attempt), four touchdowns and zero interceptions for a passer rating of 119.5 - and to cap it off, also added 21 yards rushing (on three carries). It was the fifth-highest single-game passing yards total Luck has recorded and was the sixth time he’s thrown at least four touchdowns in a game. It was just the third time he’s done so with no turnovers, and in the previous two he didn’t put up the yardage total he did on Sunday.
It doesn’t end there, however. According to the Indianapolis Star’s Zak Keefer, Luck is the first player in 56 years to throw at least four touchdowns in a season-opener with no interceptions yet still lose the game (he was actually the second, as Drew Brees did it earlier in the day, but you get the point). Pro Football Focus loved Luck too, as they gave him the highest grade for any quarterback so far in week one (96.1). Colts.com’s Kevin Bowen, citing PFF stats, noted that Luck was 11-of-13 for 203 yards and three touchdowns when throwing 10+ yards downfield. PFF’s Mike Renner mentioned that Luck gained 302 of his 385 yards before the catch (meaning through the air), which was 76 yards more than the next-closest quarterback (Brees)!
Luck’s teammates were just as impressed as fans were.
“He’s a [expletive] football player, man,” running back Frank Gore said, according to the Indy Star. “Love him.”
“He changes everything,” tight end Dwayne Allen said. “Everything.”
“Hell of a player,” center Ryan Kelly said. “You think about some of the throws he made, the windows he had to go through? Wow.”
“I knew we were gonna score [on that last drive],” running back Robert Turbin said. “Before the kickoff, I told Quan Bray, ‘No need to take it out. Let’s get our stud out on the field. Let’s get 12 out there.’”
Unfortunately, the game ended in a loss for Indianapolis, but make no mistake: Andrew Luck was really, really good.