<
>

This time, Luck couldn't bail out Colts

9/15/2013

INDIANAPOLIS -- The reputation was inevitable for Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck.

Eight fourth-quarter rallies in 12 victories in his young career. He has earned the right to be known for his come-from-behind ability.

But you knew the magic that Luck provided during fourth quarters would run out at some point. The Colts couldn’t continue to rely on him to bail them out. It’s a fun story and all, but it’s a dangerous way to try to succeed.

That point was proven on Sunday.

Luck threw a fourth-quarter interception in the end zone and took a sack on fourth down with under two minutes left as the Colts fell 24-20 to the Miami Dolphins at Lucas Oil Stadium.

“I guess a little angry at myself,” Luck said. “Again, credit to them. They put us in all these situations, but I feel like we are a better team than what we showed out there. But I don’t know if I’m any harder on myself after this loss, other losses, wins, whatever it may be.”

Luck’s numbers weren't bad -- 25-of-43 for 321 yards and a touchdown. But he was also unfortunate because the Dolphins were able to get their hands on a lot of his balls to go with some throws that were behind his intended targets.

Those miscues would have been forgotten if Luck could have pulled off his second straight winning drive in the fourth quarter.

Luck drove the Colts down to Miami’s 34-yard line when he tried to zip a pass to receiver Reggie Wayne. Dolphins cornerback Brent Grimes didn’t have a problem coming up with the interception in the end zone because Luck’s pass was poorly thrown.

“I forced the throw up there,” Luck said. “Good coverage by Grimes. We knew coming in he was a phenomenal corner. ... There’s another play I’d love to have back.”

Grimes said, “We knew coming in, and we talked about it all week that he makes plays down the stretch. That’s his thing.”

The Colts' defense did its part and forced the Dolphins to punt after the turnover.

You just knew something special would happen after Luck bounced off two Dolphins defenders and one of his teammates to scramble for 14 yards on the Colts’ first possession of the ensuing series. Then there was a 22-yard completion to Griff Whalen, who was playing because of an injury to receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey (shoulder). Another 18 yards to Wayne followed.

But that’s when it all stopped. That’s when things became reality again for the Colts.

An incompletion to T.Y. Hilton in the end zone -- a pass that should have been intercepted by Dolphins safety Chris Clemons. Another incomplete pass.

The final offensive play also proved how much the Colts missed running back Vick Ballard’s blocking ability.

Luck took the snap out of the shotgun, and running back Donald Brown looked pitiful trying to block linebacker Philip Wheeler. Brown went for the block -- if you want to call it that -- and Wheeler threw him to the side like it was nothing and sacked Luck.

No magical ending this time.

“Disappointing last series,” Luck said. “I don’t think I handled a lot of those plays well. You start thinking about the plays afterward. They did a good job of pressure on that last play. You never want to get sacked on fourth down. That’s almost one of those cardinal sins, if you will, of playing football.”