Trailing 16-14 with less than two minutes left, Luck found running back Donald Brown on a short pass to the left side that wound up going 39 yards to the Jacksonville 28-yard line. Three running plays later, Adam Vinatieri hit a 37-yard field goal to give his team the lead.
Of course, it was all for naught, as the less-touted first-round pick in this matchup, Blaine Gabbert, connected with Cecil Shorts for an 80-yard touchdown pass that resulted in the Jaguars first win of the season.
Even after the game went south in just nine seconds, Luck was nearly able to bring his team back when he completed a 36-yard strike to T.Y. Hilton down to the Jaguars 26-yard line.
Despite the brutal loss, the colossal failure of the Colts defense and Luck’s rather pedestrian body of work, those who frequent Lucas Oil Stadium have plenty to look forward to.
Luck obviously made some bad decisions over the course of the game, as he threw an interception and finished with more incompletions than successful hookups, but he showed veteran poise down the stretch.
The former Stanford Cardinal clearly isn’t where he needs to be if he’s going to become a star in the NFL, but nobody expected this process to be easy. Luck’s learning curve and trajectory are some of the highest that any rookie quarterback has displayed.
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When Robert Griffin III wowed the league with 320 yards and two touchdowns, Luck took a backseat to the man who was drafted behind him. Since then, though, Luck has leapfrogged ahead of Griffin in terms of pure ability under center.
Luck is making smart decisions—for the most part—and if the Colts defense was able to avoid the big play at the end of the game, those on the Luck bandwagon would be even more claustrophobic than they already are.
Predicting a successful future for Luck isn’t exactly going out on a limb, but many believe that it will take him a few seasons to move up in the ranks of NFL quarterbacks.
If Week 3 was any indication, Luck may not even need a full season before he starts changing the culture in Indianapolis.
That’s what the Colts need, because there aren’t many things to get excited after losing to the Jaguars.