The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Sports

November 26, 2012

Colts have had good Luck in close games

ANDERSON, Ind. — The Indianapolis Colts have played seven games this season decided by seven points or less.

They’ve won six of those contests, including Sunday’s key 20-13 victory against the Buffalo Bills, and interim head coach/offensive coordinator Bruce Arians was asked Monday if that’s unusual for such a young and inexperienced team.

“I think you’re right, with a normal quarterback,” Arians said. “I don’t think we have a normal one.”

Rookie quarterback Andrew Luck has again fallen behind Washington counterpart Robert Griffin III on the national stage, after the latter threw eight touchdown passes in his last two starts.

But Luck’s stature remains as high as ever inside his own locker room.

His numbers Sunday — 20-of-37 for 240 yards with one touchdown and one interception — weren’t eye-popping. But they don’t include many of the hidden things the quarterback does that belie his age.

He again was steady on third down, completing 6-of-9 attempts for 82 yards and his only touchdown. The score capped an 87-yard drive that ate more than eight minutes off the clock in the third quarter. Luck converted all four third-down attempts during the march, including an 8-yard touchdown pass to fellow rookie T.Y. Hilton on third-and-goal.

“We’ve asked him to do more than anybody I’ve been around,” said Arians, who also coached Peyton Manning and Ben Roethlisberger as rookies. “He’s been able to respond with it and not make the same mistakes twice. There were times in the ballgame there he saw some things the first time down in the red zone, we came right back with a very similar play and he hit T.Y. for the touchdown. Once he saw the pictures, and what they were doing on the other side earlier in the game on the third-and-3, he was able to adapt and make the play the next time down there.”

Arians was just as impressed by what Luck didn’t do on Sunday.

The quarterback has run into trouble previously when he’s tried to keep a play alive too long. He threw an interception against Jacksonville in Week 3 when he probably should have run out of the pocket, and he nearly was intercepted late in the Miami game three weeks ago when he forced a pass attempt while blanketed in defenders deep in his own territory.

Luck was sacked four times by the Bills, and Arians couldn’t have been happier about his quarterback’s decision making.

“He was trying to get out of there, but it wasn’t time to let one fly down the middle of the field, and that’s good growth,” Arians said. “And punt the football, especially that one when we were down around the 20-yard line coming out. Don’t risk losing the football game right there where you’re trying to be heroic.”

The play Arians referred to came on third-and-2 from the Colts’ 32 with about 10 minutes left in the game. Rather than force a throw, Luck moved up in the pocket to scramble but was cut down by Buffalo defensive end Mario Williams.

Pat McAfee flipped field position on the punt, and the Bills started their ensuing drive at their own 25-yard line. When Buffalo finally punted the ball back to Indianapolis with 3:22 remaining, the offense was able to run out the clock and seal the victory.

Luck’s poise and decision making will be tested again this week at Detroit. The Lions (4-7) feature a powerful front four — led by high draft picks Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley — and the game again could come down to the final possession.

But Luck just keeps looking forward. The Colts’ seventh win Sunday tied him with St. Louis’ Sam Bradford for the most wins by a rookie quarterback taken No. 1 overall since 1970.

Luck still has his eyes set on a playoff berth. Indianapolis (7-4) has a one-game lead over Pittsburgh (6-5) and Cincinnati (6-5) in what figures to be a three-team race for the AFC’s two wild card spots with five games remaining in the regular season.

“We understand the position we’re in, but again nothing has been accomplished yet,” he said Sunday. “But on to the next one, glad to get a ‘W’ out here in front of the home fans at Lucas Oil Stadium.”

1
Text Only
Sports
  • SPT - HB0722 - Luck Dungy art George Bremer: Five favorite memories of Colts camp I thought, as a kind of primer before Wednesday's main event, I'd celebrate the fifth straight summer of the Colts at AU by sharing my five favorite memories of training camp so far.

    July 21, 2014 5 Photos

  • SPT - HB0722 - Stuckey art Pacers face uphill battle after signing Stuckey Last week, the Indiana Pacers lost Lance Stephenson. On Monday, they replaced one of the NBA's best young players with shooting guard Rodney Stuckey.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Marcum claims Late Model win Morristown driver Jeff Marcum has watched victories in the McGunegill Engine Performance Late Models slip away this season, but that changed Saturday at Anderson Speedway.

    July 20, 2014

  • SPT-HB0720-HoosierParkart3.JPG Miller leads Champion Driver Series

    When the format was announced for Hoosier Park’s initial Champion Driver Series, it was thought that getting either the fifth or sixth pick in every race but never first or second might be a huge disadvantage. Lewayne Miller proved otherwise.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0720 - Mireles art Mireles looks toward future after all-star finale Surrounded by his friends and family near midfield under the lights of Friday night, Elwood’s Sammy Mireles did something he’s never done in his career. The state’s all-time leading rusher freely absorbed a hit.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0720 - Tennis Classic - JC 1 Hiatt repeats, Hammel wins first title at tennis classic There was a repeat winner and a first-time winner in the Men's A Singles and Women's A Singles championship matches on Saturday morning at the 34th annual Community Hospital Anderson Tennis Classic.

    July 19, 2014 4 Photos

  • Hucks move on in A Doubles bracket Shawn Huck doesn't have an easy decision when it comes to picking partners for the 34th Annual Community Hospital Anderson Tennis Classic.

    July 18, 2014

  • SPT - HB0718 - Tennis Classic logo Varsity mixed doubles champs crowned at Tennis Classic The scene slightly resembled a war zone and slightly a country club at Anderson University on Thursday afternoon. As Indianapolis Colts personnel started tearing down tennis court bleachers and parked what appeared to be nearly 100 golf carts in preparation for training camp starting on Thursday next week, one of the first titles was handed out in the Community Hospital Anderson Tennis Classic.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Champion drivers ready for series opener Saturday at Hoosier Park Harness drivers were turned into handicappers on Thursday and their effectiveness in that role will be determined Saturday night.

    July 17, 2014

  • Champion Driver Series ready to roll Saturday

    Harness drivers were turned into handicappers on Thursday and their effectiveness in that role will be determined Saturday night.

    July 17, 2014

Latest Sports Photos


Click here to browse and buy photos from The Herald Bulletin

Latest Racing News