Luck has big numbers as Colts rout Titans 41-17
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Andrew Luck keeps ignoring the numbers.
The third-year quarterback has already racked up 1,305 yards, 13 touchdowns and topped the 300-yard mark three times — and there’s no indication he’s about to slow down.
On Sunday, Luck finished with a season-best 393 yards and four more touchdowns while leading the Colts to a 41-17 rout over Tennessee. It was Indy’s second straight win and its ninth straight victory over an AFC South foe.
“He’s in the zone right now,” coach Chuck Pagano said. “Anytime you go out there and play fast and you’re not thinking, usually the result is the numbers, you know the yards and touchdowns he’s producing right now.”
Luck is moving into historic territory. At this pace, he’ll shatter Peyton Manning’s franchise records for yards and touchdown passes in a season.
And he’s just getting started.
Over the last two weeks, Luck has thrown for 763 yards and eight touchdowns, hooking up with nine different receivers in each game. Add to that to a ground game that has topped the 100-yard mark each of the past three weeks, and it’s no wonder Indy (2-2) has won two straight.
The Colts have now won six in a row over Tennessee and seven straight at home against Titans (1-3).
“They controlled the ball and made plays,” Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt said. “We had opportunities for plays and we didn’t make them all.”
Luck did a far better job of executing the game plan.
He finished 29 of 41 with one interception and avoided getting sacked. Reggie Wayne caught seven passes for a season best 119 yards, including a spectacular, spinning 28-yard catch for his first TD of the season on the sideline. Luck followed that with a 2-yard TD pass to Coby Fleener, which turned a 20-10 halftime lead into an insurmountable 34-10 cushion.
“It’s just the way games have gone,” Luck said when asked about his stats.
Here are a few more takeaways from Sunday’s game:
TITANIC PROBLEMS: Tennessee (1-3) still has not scored in the first quarter this season and has just two first-half touchdowns. One of those came courtesy of Luck’s biggest mistake of the day, an interception at his own 25 with 45 seconds to go in the first half. How bad have things been? Without Luck’s interception, Tennessee has scored just 13 first-half points this season.
DISPROVING THE DOUBTERS: Anyone who thought the 35-year-old Wayne couldn’t regain his form after tearing his ACL, should have seen Wayne making his acrobatic catches, the catches over the middle and converting third-downs into first downs. He passed Isaac Bruce for No. 7 on the NFL’s career receptions list and Henry Ellard for No. 10 in yards receiving. If Wayne continues playing this way, Indy’s offense will be tough to stop.
QUARTERBACK QUESTIONS: Tennessee starter Jake Locker missed the game with a right wrist injury. Nine-year veteran Charlie Whitehurst got a rare chance to prove himself, throwing a pass for the first time since the 2011 season. He didn’t perform badly, going 12 of 23 for 177 yards with one touchdown. He also led the Titans in rushing — five carries, 40 yards. But he threw an interception, had another completion fumbled away by Kendall Wright, took three sacks and was replaced by rookie Zach Mettenberger late in the game. Mettenberger also threw an interception, leaving plenty of questions heading into next week’s game against Cleveland.
FAST STARTERS: A year ago, the Colts were trying to overcome slow starts. This year, they’ve changed course. With the defense playing better and the offense getting in synch quicker, the Colts have held double-digit halftime leads each of the past three weeks.
SURPRISE, SURPRISE: Tennessee was caught completely off-guard when Indianapolis tried an onside kick in the first quarter. Griff Whalen recovered, and Luck eventually converted it into — what else? — a TD pass for a 14-0 lead. It typified Tennessee’s embarrassing day.