Clutch Andrew Luck Delivers In Colts Comeback Victory
Joe Robbins | Getty Images
INDIANAPOLIS – It’s one of the many reasons why Jim Irsay gave Andrew Luck a historic contract back in the summer of 2016.
Despite a shoulder injury that had flared up the season prior, Irsay still thought Luck was worthy of a $140 million contract.
Sunday was a reason why.
With the Colts’ playoff hopes fading rapidly, Luck led the 21st game-winning touchdown drive of his career with a variety of clutch plays.
-There was Luck eluding pressure and taking off for a 12-yard scramble early in the drive.
-There was Luck finding Dontrelle Inman in a behind-the-chains situation for a 1st down.
-And there was Luck changing Frank Reich’s play call for the game-winning touchdown pass to Chester Rogers.
With the Colts season on the brink, No. 12 delivered.
“I can’t say enough about how clutch Luck was,” Reich said after the comeback victory. “He was just clutch that whole last drive making throws, checks. The last play was a check. I called a run, he checked it to a pass to Chester (Rogers) because he saw pressure and man-to-man coverage.
“So, I can’t say enough about how Andrew handled the pressure down the stretch.”
Sunday was certainly not one of the ‘best games’ Luck has had this season.
Luck was adamant that his second quarter interception against the Giants was not a miscommunication between him and Eric Ebron.
“I was trying to throw it out of bounds,” Luck said of the Colts squandering their first good scoring chance on the afternoon. “I got confused by the coverage. I did not have a plan. I tried to throw it out of bounds, it didn’t make it out of bounds and that’s a catastrophic error that I am disappointed in myself about. I’m embarrassed, frankly, about it, especially down in the red zone. One of many things that I need to improve upon.”
So many times throughout Luck’s post-game presser Sunday he referenced the need for overall team improvement, following their 8th win in the last 9 games played.
The quarterback said the Colts offense struggled early on to even give themselves a chance for a positive play and were not dictating things enough in a 7-point opening half.
But after a passionate halftime speech from Frank Reich, the offense overcame the losses of Eric Ebron and Ryan Kelly to dial up 3 touchdown drives in their first 4 series of the second half.
Luck finished the afternoon throwing for 357 yards, completing 31-of-47 passes, with 2 touchdowns and 1 interception.
Diving deeper into Luck’s numbers from Sunday and the old adage of big-time players stepping up in big-time moments showed.
Whether it was his legs, his arm or his head, Luck helped the Colts enter the final week of the regular season with a very real chance of seeing this season extend into January.
As Luck’s post-game press conference was winding down on Sunday, the quarterback touched on his love for the game of football and how the Colts navigated through the tough waters in Week 16.
“This is the ultimate team game, there is an incredible amount of accountability and trust between teammates,” Luck said. “The only thing you can do is: do your job to the best of your ability, and you’ve got to start there. When things are going tough, bring it back and bring it simple, stay calm and do your job. I hold that to heart.
“I think we all, especially at halftime, just focused back on doing our job, playing our piece of the puzzle and managed to work out.”
And having No. 12 on your sideline always helps.