INDIANAPOLIS — The scoreboard had to be a lie.
Even more than two hours after Sunday's game at Lucas Oil Stadium, the numbers casting off a digital glow seemed to be inexplicable.
Had the Indianapolis Colts (4-1) really scored a 34-28 victory in a wild and wacky shootout against the previously undefeated Seattle Seahawks (4-1)? And, if so, how?
A big part of the answer stood in a tan suit with a beard showing a few days' growth outlining his still youthful face. Against a defensive secondary widely regarded as the best in the NFL, Andrew Luck went 11-of-16 for 132 yards in the second half — lowering the boom on Seattle's famed "Legion of Boom."
"Against that team? Extremely difficult," head coach Chuck Pagano said, assessing another clutch performance from his quarterback. "But, again, that's Andrew being Andrew. Again, we're very lucky, no pun intended, to have him."
Luck finished 16-of-29 for 229 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions overall. He posted a 104.0 quarterback rating against a Seattle team that had limited opposing passers to a league-low 60.7 rating through the first two games.
He avoided the big mistakes that doomed Houston's Matt Schaub in an overtime loss a week ago, and he routinely found second-year wide receiver T.Y. Hilton for big plays. The 2012 third-round pick out of Florida International caught five passes for a caree-high 140 yards and both of Luck's touchdowns.
The first score was arguably the most important.
Seattle scored on its first two drives while Indianapolis went three-and-out, then the Seahawks blocked a punt and nearly recovered it in the end zone for a touchdown. The play was ultimately ruled a safety, and the Colts were in a 12-0 hole less than five minutes into the game.
Seattle head coach Pete Carroll was certain safety Jeron Johnson had recovered the ball in the end zone, and he believed his team should have had a bigger lead.