Entering Sunday's home matchup with the Buffalo Bills, Luck had a pedestrian 12 touchdowns to 12 interceptions, was completing a lackluster 57 percent of his passes and suffered through the worst loss of his young career against the New England Patriots the previous week.
Shaking off a rough start and a minimal running game to support him, Luck managed to find his rhythm in the second half to continue the Colts' impressive run at Lucas Oil Stadium. They are now 5-1 on their home turf, clearly feeding off the enthusiastic Indianapolis crowd every time they suit up.
In the 20-13 victory over the Bills, Luck put up another perceptibly unimpressive stat line. Yet, getting the "W" is all that anyone is talking about—and rightly so. He also matched a recent milestone that can't be emphasized enough in the results-driven nature of the NFL (h/t ESPN Stats & Info):
Andrew Luck ties Sam Bradford for most wins (7) by a QB drafted No. 1 overall since 1970.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 25, 2012
If you remember, Bradford didn't exactly have amazing numbers in his rookie campaign: 18 touchdowns to 15 interceptions and less than six yards per attempt. Still, the young quarterbacks' inherent ability to win is indicative of what having the proper man under center can do for a franchise.
Another stat ESPN utilizes heavily is the total QBR, which takes into account the context and circumstances of every play. In that regard, Luck has been among the best, registering a fourth-best 75.0 out of 100 rating entering Week 12.
Even the Bills' Twitter team couldn't resist marveling at another of Luck's stunning achievements:
Andrew Luck: 2nd Colts QB to throw for 3,000 yds as a rookie. Peyton Manning is the other.— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) November 25, 2012
It appears that Luck is matching up with his legendary predecessor pretty favorably, considering the Colts are still in playoff contention at this juncture.
Such a notion would have been laughable before the 2012 season began, but Luck's play, combined with inspiration generated by head coach Chuck Pagano's cancer diagnosis, has driven this team to where it stands at No. 5 in the AFC.
Let's face it: this shouldn't be happening. If you took one look at Luck's season stat line—even the 183 yards rushing and five TDs—it would still be impossible to project the Colts at 7-4.
It's hard enough to even make sense of the current situation.
Luck hasn't had much of a running game to speak of, no consistently viable second receiver and a somewhat horrendous defense to work with. The Colts have suffered an unfortunate rash of injuries as well, particularly to the already-thin defensive unit.
In spite of this, and in spite of being a completely new-look roster with so many inexperienced players counted on to play massive roles—most of all Luck—it has worked out.
There is plenty of time for Luck to write his legacy, and this is an outstanding start to date—even if his basic statistics don't say so.
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