Sunday's big win at Detroit was improbable, incredible, and utterly delicious for Colts' fans. While the win was a team effort, both in getting them into a hole and clawing back out, the one who will be remembered will be Andrew Luck.
There's good reason for that. Luck's play throughout the game was messy, but he pulled it together with a fantastic three minutes to leave Detroit fans in shock after the game winning touchdown pass to end the game.
The most incredible thing about Luck is his ability to make plays happen, when there's no reason for him to be successful. I want to look at two of those plays today.
The first play happened with 2:47 left in the game, and was the play that gave Colts' fans hope that this was still possible, a 42-yard strike to LaVon Brazill.
Two seconds after the snap, Luck has two defenders bearing down on him.
Luck pulls his arm back to throw, but doesn't like what he sees, and pulls the ball back. Luck uses his quickness to avoid the first guy, who dives and misses, and looks downfield for an outlet.
Luck sees LaVon Brazill at this point, and will wind up to make the throw, as long as he can avoid the second Lions' defender.
Luck will get the throw off, but he will take a hit in the back of the knees in the process. The only question is if he'll be able to get enough on the throw while throwing off balance.
It's a perfect throw, just over the outstretched arm of the defender, and the Colts' are back within one score after a great catch by rookie LaVon Brazill.
The throw here was phenomenal. There is no other way to describe it. While running left, Luck squares his shoulders and makes a throw while being hit that is put in the exact place that it needed to be. That throw alone gives fans the confidence that Luck is going to be very good for a long time.
The second play was on the final drive, a play that has gotten overlooked because of a beautiful throw to Reggie Wayne and obviously the game winning touchdown, but was still important.
The play occurred with just 24 seconds left from the Lions' 24.
Luck has good protection to start the play, but the offensive tackles are going to get pushed back in a hurry. Luck has no one to throw to yet, as he needs to get at least 10 yards or so and get out of bounds.
Sure enough, the tackles both get pushed back, with Anthony Castonzo actually getting beat (Linkenbach is just pushed back and making things congested at RT). The defensive end has his hands around Luck, but as we've seen, you need more than just hands to bring down the rookie QB.
Luck steps up, and Linkenbach's staggering body helps knock the defensive end off of Luck. Luck steps forward and delivers a bullet while sliding away from the pressure.
The throw is a perfect strike, hitting Allen right between the numbers. The rookie tight end also has the presence of mind to quickly turn around and get out of bounds, saving the Colts from running out of time. This would set up the Colts with four downs from the Lions 14 yard line to get the game winner.
Now, those are just a couple of plays, but Luck has been making plays like that with his feet and arm all season. It's one of the reasons why you truly have to watch the game to get a feel of just how special he is.
D'oh! NFL replay is playing the Bears-Seahawks game and the Steelers-Ravens game. What do the Colts have to do to get decent media coverage? Their last second comback was far more exciting than the offensive ineptness of the Steelers and Ravens. I guess the Colt's and Lions' fanbases just aren't big enough.
On the WWL, Easterbrook's TMQ states the following:
"Luck wasn't staging the drive alone, of course. Good offensive line play on the final drive allowed Indianapolis to send out five receivers on all but one snap."
Oh. My. Word.
It's like some national writers don't even <i>watch</i> the games they opine on. :-S
@matt_has OMG... he even describes a 16 yard QB rush AND a broken tackle in the same paragraph. If the line play was so good, why in God's name did Luck have to break a tackle on one play and run by himself on another? It's not like either play were designed QB rushes.
Re: Earlier discussion of Luck being Peyton-esque, the throw to Brazill is exactly why I think he is Elway-esque. Did Peyton scramble and make throws like that when he was younger? I don't remember.
On a different topic what's with the points? They seem to appear and disappear.
@hankster Re: Elway vs. Manning- Luck is definitely more mobile than Manning, more like Elway in that regard. He's a lot like Manning in that he takes a lot of downfield shots as a young guy, trying to force it down the field. Luck/Manning will always have a disconnect in terms of athleticism though.
@Kyle Rodriguez Nice breakdown btw. Whoever Luck is like he's darn talented. If were are Lucky (he he) he will one day set his own example.
The only thing I worry about is that the punishment Luck takes in BA's vertical stretch will lead to an injury plagued career like Roethlisberger.
It's hard to believe Luck threw 30 incompletions in that game, all I can remember is the brilliance of the last 5 minutes. I probably shouldn't rewatch the game, might ruin it (then again that means I will still have to rewatch the ending, thereby erasing my memory of the first 55 minutes for a second time). Remarkable how fast Luck went from "lost his chance for ROY" to "Steve Marriuci just voted for him to win MVP."
@Colt_Following I don't know what is more amazing, the finally five minutes, or that the Colts were even remotely in the game after the way the first 55 minutes went.
I'm sorry, but in another post at this very site, Coach Arians was quoted as saying "...there was never a doubt". So what is the big deal?
(It is my understanding, but not 100% confirmed, that Coach Arains also said that there was never a doubt that the 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey team was going to beat the USSR.)