Andrew Luck finished the first half of his second N.F.L. action with a stat line that read: 16/25 for 175 yards and 2 INT (with one of those interceptions resulting in a pick six). These kinds of numbers won’t lead to a high quarterback rating, but despite the statistical output, Luck was very impressive against one of the league’s best defenses. (Full disclosure I’m writing this at halftime of the game and am assuming Luck will not play anymore tonight).
It’s crazy to take too much from a preseason performance in either a positive or negative way, but tonight Luck is showing the mental toughness, mobility, and throwing ability that led him to be the number one overall pick in the draft. The first thing that stood out is what happened after Luck threw a pick six. He came right back and led the Colts down the field. Throughout the game he made impressive pass after pass, ripping tight spirals and fitting the ball into small windows. Luck also stood in the pocket and took some shots while delivering balls down the field. After his second interception Luck went 8 for 9 for 96 yards and a rushing touchdown (which was one fourth down and should not have been a touchdown, but who cares? It’s preseason).
Stats can be very misleading. Luck’s second interception actually came after he threw a beautiful pass right into the hands of rookie WR T.Y. Hilton, who proceeded to bobble the ball in the air and watch it land in the hands of the Pittsburgh Steelers defense. A clean catch could have resulted in a touchdown. Luck was also impressive in the final minute of the half. The Colts got the ball back and in a two minute drill (really one minute drill), Luck was able to get his team up the field quickly with only one timeout to score a field goal. Luck showed poised, and looked unfazed despite throwing the two interceptions. Luck still has a ways to go and there will be growing pains, but he has looked very impressive in his first two live N.F.L. action events.
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