In fact, for about 23 seconds, the only noticeable difference was the number and name on the jersey.
Luck led the Colts 45 yards down the field, setting up the game-winning, 53-yard field goal by Adam Vinatieri, which gave the Manning-less Colts their first victory with Luck as the starter.
Not only do the Colts have something to celebrate after the win, but they have positives to build on for the rest of the season, which figures to be an up-and-down affair.
Having one of the most clutch kickers in the game certainly helped, but the Colts wouldn't have been in position to win if Luck didn't do his best work of the day in crunch time.
He was 2-of-2 for 40 yards on the final drive, and that doesn't include a seven-yard pass that was negated after Minnesota jumped offsides.
Bottom line, even though Luck struggled in his first two NFL games, other teams are going to have to regard him as the Colts' most dangerous player when they face Indianapolis this year.
But if you look at the Colts schedule, a lot of close games figure to be on the horizon. Division rivals Tennessee and Jacksonville both have started 0-2. Games against Miami, Cleveland and Buffalo all look winnable after the first two weeks of the season.
Luck has now established some credibility as a closer, even if it was just one game at home against the Vikings. He still figures to have a leg up on his fellow rookie QBs in Miami and Cleveland, and even on Jacksonville's sophomore signal-caller Blaine Gabbert.
This Colts team could win more games than many think. That might not be the best news, because I still think they are two good drafts away from really contending in the AFC, but having the team exceed expectations during Luck's rookie season will be huge for the No. 1 overall pick's future.
You've got a lot of confidence in your kicker's leg when you know you only have to get to the opposition's 35-yard line to win games. Vinatieri took care of his part, and Luck doing the job in only his second NFL start is a great sign for the start of life without No. 18.
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