By George Bremer
The Herald Bulletin
Andrew Luck set another rookie record on Sunday.
With his eighth win of the season, he surpassed St. Louis’ Sam Bradford for the most victories by a quarterback taken No. 1 overall in his debut season since 1970.
Luck also threw for 391 yards to pass Andy Dalton, Matt Ryan and Bradford on the all-time rookie passing list. With 3,596 yards this season, Luck now ranks third all-time behind Peyton Manning (3,739) and Cam Newton (4,051) with four games left in the regular season.
Luck also set career highs with four touchdown passes and a 60-yard completion to fellow rookie T.Y. Hilton.
Hilton finished with six catches for 100 yards to break tie with Andre Rison and set the franchise rookie record with his fourth 100-yard receiving game.
Rookie tight end Coby Fleener and rookie wide receiver LaVon Brazill also recorded their first career receiving touchdowns during the contest, and rookie running back Vick Ballard scored the first rushing touchdown of his career.
CUTTING IT CLOSE: The Colts improved to 7-1 this season in games decided by one score or less.
This win marked the first time Indianapolis has won on the final play of regulation since Sept. 30, 1990, when Jack Trudeau threw a 6-yard pass to Bill Brooks at Philadelphia.
The victory also was the franchise’s fourth straight against the Lions, matching a streak led by legendary Johnny Unitas in 1958-59.
BRUCE ALMIGHTY: Arians won his seventh game in relief of head coach Chuck Pagano, who continues his fight against leukemia.
The Colts’ leader now ranks third in NFL history for wins by an in-season replacement. Hamp Pool won nine games with the 1952 L.A. Rams, and Wally Lemm matched that total with the 1961 Houston Oilers.
Don Coryell led the San Diego Chargers to eight wins in 1978.
“Don’t care about the stats,” Arians said. “The only stat that matters is No. 8 (wins). We’ve got a fighting bunch of guys, and we’ve got a fighting coach at home.”