Monday, November 5, 2012
Detailing Andrew Luck's record game
By Paul Kuharsky
We’ve discussed Andrew Luck vs. Robert Griffin III in this space.
Sunday’s excellent performance by Luck requires no mention of RG3.
Luck passed for 433 yards, breaking the NFL single-game record for pass yards by a rookie, set a year ago by Cam Newton.
Per ESPN Stats and Info, two more Colts wins will help Luck match Sam Bradford’s record for wins by a rookie quarterback drafted No. 1 overall (seven in 2010) and could become the first QB drafted No. 1 overall to have a winning record in his rookie season.
Luck now has four 300-yard passing games this season, tying Peyton Manning’s rookie record.
Some notable things about what Luck did against Miami:
1) Luck took advantage of a Dolphins defense that sent four or fewer pass-rushers on more than 60 percent of his dropbacks on Sunday. Despite struggling against such a pass rush in his first seven games, Luck rebounded to complete nearly 70 percent of his attempts including a go-ahead touchdown pass to T.Y. Hilton late in the third quarter.
Most notable was the difference in completion percentage. Against four or fewer rushers before Sunday, he was connecting on 56.7 percent of his passes. Against the Dolphins it was 69 percent.
2) Luck completed eight of 11 (72.5 percent) passes using play-action, including a 36-yard go-ahead touchdown pass to T.Y. Hilton. Entering Sunday, Luck had only one touchdown and completed 59.1 percent of his passes on play-action.
3) He continues to throw the ball down the field. His average completion was thrown 9.8 yards downfield against Miami, his highest in a game this season and more than a yard better than his league-high average entering Week 9 (8.4).
4) When he’s shifting around or on the move, he’s deadly. Luck completed all six of his passes on throws outside the pocket, and has completed 11 of 12 such passes over his past two games, averaging 14 yards per attempt. Entering Sunday, the league average completion percentage on throws outside the pocket was 51.9 percent.
5) He’s got the highest QBR (76.1) for a rookie through nine weeks since 2008.
He gets better and better. Now we'll see Luck and the Colts prepare on a short week. They make their one national TV appearance Thursday night in Jacksonville, where they will look to beat a team that beat them in Indianapolis back on Sept. 23.