Andrew Luck grew on Sunday.
Prior to the Indianapolis Colts’ victory over the Miami Dolphins, the Colts had only won one game in which Luck attempted more than 38 passes. Toe-to-toe with Ryan Tannehill, Luck torched his fellow rookie, completing 30-of-48 passes for 433 yards and two touchdowns to lead his team to a 23-20 triumph. In doing so, he’s officially earned the label of an elite fantasy quarterback.
According to ESPN’s Numbers Never Lie, Luck’s outing was historic—not just for personal bests either. Following the go-ahead, fourth-quarter drive that he executed, it tweeted:
433. Andrew Luck has 433 yards passing today, the most ever for a rookie.— Numbers Never Lie (@ESPN_Numbers) November 4, 2012
It’s quite obvious that the Colts’ coaching staff has handed Luck complete control of the offense.
Case in point, halfbacks Vick Ballard and Delone Carter combined for just 21 carries on the afternoon. Indy’s attack possessed nothing that resembled balance. And without an established back, the team is unlikely to adjust its pass-first approach.
Prior to Sunday’s action, Luck was 10th in the NFL in passing yards and seventh in attempts. He’ll rise considerably in the rankings after his performance this week.
Now, critics will be sure to point out Luck’s mediocre 74.6 passer rating going into Week 9 and the fact that Miami’s pass defense was ranked 27th in the league.
First off, the Dolphins surrendered an average of 281.0 yards before Sunday’s air assault. Luck blew that number out of the water.
And anyway, it isn’t like the Colts’ schedule will get that much more difficult in the coming weeks. Four out of their next five opponents—the Jacksonville Jaguars, New England Patriots, Buffalo Bills and Tennessee Titans—field pass defenses ranked in the bottom half of the league.
Get used to more career bests from Luck.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.