INDIANAPOLIS — Each NFL game is like another finals week for Andrew Luck.
Every play is scrutinized, every statistic comes with a comparison, and every week the critics expect him to do even more.
By almost any measure, the rookie quarterback is already earning passing marks.
He's impressed coaches with his memory and ability to adjust, gotten good reviews from the so-called experts because of his steady play and won over local fans after earning his first NFL win — in three fewer games than it took Peyton Manning in 1998. And he's a big hit in the locker room, too.
"The kid's got a lot of poise, a lot of fight. He's not easily rattled," defensive end Cory Redding said Wednesday. "For him to go through what happened (Sunday) and come in there and throw three lasers down the field like he did, he's just starting to show people what's to come."
The Colts (1-1) brought in Luck as their new leading man, the anchor of a rebuilding project that was supposed to lead to future success.
Turns out, Indianapolis (No. 25 in the AP Pro32) may not have to wait as long as some thought.
Those inside the team complex have witnessed a steady progression from mini-camp to training camp through the preseason and now into the regular season thanks to Luck's propensity to rebound from bad plays or poor games.
In his NFL debut at Chicago, Luck was under heavy pressure from the Bears' vaunted defense. He wound going 23 of 45 for 309 yards with one TD, three interceptions and lost a fumble in a 41-21 defeat.
On Sunday, Luck turned everything around.
Playing behind an offensive line missing two starters when the game began and three when the second half started, Luck managed to routinely escape one of the league's most creative sacks artists, Jared Allen, and bought enough time to make plays down field.