Andrew Luck’s record-breaking rookie season came to a disappointing end in a 24-9 loss in Baltimore in the AFC Wild Card round. Even in defeat, Luck set rookie playoff records with 28 completions and 54 pass attempts, while throwing for the most yards (288) since Sammy Baugh way back in 1937.
But the experienced Ravens were too much for the Colts, and the weaknesses of the offensive line and the defense were too much to overcome. The receivers also struggled with a season-worst number of dropped passes. Also not helping matters was offensive coordinator and potential Coach of the Year winner Bruce Arians missing the game after an illness.
It wouldn’t be the postseason without the Colts doing something unusual in defeat, as they became the first team to gain over 400 yards of offense – 419 to be exact – and score fewer than 10 points. The nine points match a season low.
No one thought Luck would get his first taste of the postseason this soon, and the experience can only be invaluable moving forward. While his performance may have been spotty, the nation was able to watch a team that relied on their rookie quarterback to carry them to this point.
Now we head into the offseason to see how the Colts can help Luck get better for 2013, but before that we look at the final game of his memorable rookie season.
Drive No. 1
Drive Stats: 15:00 left (1st quarter), tied 0-0. 4 plays, 16 yards (punt).
Colts won the coin toss and elected to receive. You would not have known Arians was missing, as the Colts started with an end around to Donnie Avery. This one actually worked well for a 15-yard gain. Not much else would work for Avery this day.
Moving to the empty backfield/shotgun, Coby Fleener was unable to snatch Luck’s quick pass to the right flat on a pick play. This would be a sign of things to come. The bubble screen to T.Y. Hilton only gained a yard, as he was tackled by Paul Kruger, who had a big game. On 3rd and 9, the Ravens brought six and Luck’s pass was tipped at the line by Ed Reed. The pass fell incomplete and the Colts punted. Three quick passes, but almost no production.