Posted January 05, 2014

Andrew Luck gets surgical, shows he’s fine without injured Reggie Wayne

AFC South, AFC West, Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs, NFL Playoffs
Second-year quarterback Andrew Luck played like a veteran on his first drive in Saturday's playoff game.

Second-year quarterback Andrew Luck played like a veteran on his first drive in Saturday’s playoff game. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Under first-year offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton, the Indianapolis Colts have preached balance in their overall offensive approach. But that certainly wasn’t the case on their opening drive in the Saturday afternoon wild-card game between the Colts and the Kansas City Chiefs.

After Kansas City quarterback Alex Smith led his team to a touchdown on their opening drive, Indy responded with a drive that was all Andrew Luck — seven passes, all completions, all out of the shotgun, and five out of no-huddle.

The drive ended with a perfect 10-yard throw throw from Luck to receiver T.Y. Hilton, Luck’s primary target since the Colts lost Reggie Wayne to a torn ACL on Oct. 20.

(GIF courtesy Bleacher Report)

Seven plays, 74 yards — boom. It’s now Luck’s team, and the numbers without Wayne have not been as bad as the narrative might have you believe. Luck completed 136-of-224 passes for 1,574 yards, 10 touchdowns and three picks in the seven games with Wayne, and 207-of-346 attempts for 2,248 yards, 13 touchdowns and six picks in the nine games without. His completion percentage (60.7 to 59.8) and yards per attempt (7.02 to 6.49) have gone down a bit, but if he keeps dealing like he did to Hilton on that touchdown throw, Kansas City’s regressing defense will have a day full of headaches.


The rest of his first-half performance was somewhat less than surgical.


@wesulek : True, but in the end, he played like the winner he is.  Who is the last quarterback to throw 3 picks and get behind by 28 points in a playoff game and still win?