Move over, Jim Harbaugh, there's a new Captain Comeback in town, and his name is Andrew Luck.
All looked lost for the Indianapolis Colts in front of over 65,000 fans at Lucas Oil Stadium on Saturday, January 4. In their second playoff game in the post-Peyton Manning era, the Colts were down 31-10 at halftime against the Kansas Chiefs, despite the fact they were playing without Jamaal Charles, who suffered a concussion during the game.
As if things couldn't get any worse for the Colts, on their first play in the second half, Luck's pass was intercepted by Husain Abdullah. Three plays later, Alex Smith found Knile Davis in the end zone for his fourth passing touchdown of the game to put the Chiefs up 38-10. Derek Schultz from 1260 WNDE tweeted what everyone was thinking.
Nail meets coffin.— Derek Schultz (@Schultz1260) January 4, 2014
A number of fans probably left the game. Others probably turned off their TVs. The crazy ones stayed or kept watching. My brother turned to me after the play and said, "They have Andrew Luck. They will come back. I guarantee it."
The stats said otherwise, as ESPN Stats & Info along with Numbers Never Lie showed that the Colts had a 0.9 percent chance of winning after the touchdown.
ICYMI: Take a look at the win probability graph from the Colts-Chiefs game pic.twitter.com/CQbhgQyLez— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 5, 2014
But the stats were wrong, and my brother was right.
The Colts let Luck run loose in the second half, and he stepped up. Thanks to two touchdowns from Donald Brown, a critical strip-sack from Robert Mathis and a 12-yard touchdown from Luck to Coby Fleener, the Colts were down just 10 points at 41-31 at the end of the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Luck kept working his magic. On a designed running play to Brown near the goal line, he fumbled the ball, but Luck was right there and ran the ball in without hesitation to make it a one-possession game.
To put the cherry on top of an epic game, with four and half minutes remaining, Luck found T.Y. Hilton for the 13th time in the game, but this one was a 64-yard bomb that ended up being the game-winning touchdown.
With five total touchdowns and 488 total yards, Luck had carried the Colts to their first playoff win since Manning rode off into the sunset. Forget the three interceptions, Luck put the team on his back.
In just two short years in the league, Luck has officially mastered the art of the comeback. According to Pro Football Reference, Luck has led 11 game-winning drives and eight fourth-quarter comebacks, but none of them come anywhere close to this win.
The win officially cemented Luck's legacy in Indianapolis. He's only been playing for the Colts for two seasons, but a win like this shows that the team has found something special in the sophomore QB from Stanford, as he has the intangibles that every team wants their quarterback to have. In what was a crazy game, it's safe to say that Colts fans will never forget the night of January 4, 2014.
Heroes get remembered, but legends never die.