Colts' Win Sunday was Luck's First Victory Since 2016
INDIANAPOLIS – Going back to where he was born some 29 years ago last week, Andrew Luck’s day on Sunday in the Washington D.C. area will not break any records.
But he did come home with his first victory as a quarterback since the end of the 2016 season.
And the Colts did it in a fashion that Luck always says is the reason he loves this game so much.
“It was truly a team win,” Luck said after his first road start since Christmas Eve 2016. “A fast start by the offense, a fast start by the defense. Then the defense holds us in there before a big drive by the offense and the special teams pinning them down.
Congrats on that first W, Coach! pic.twitter.com/olPh0t0l7q
— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) September 16, 2018
“It feels good when it’s balanced, and we are complimenting each other.”
Luck had just 171 passing yards on Sunday, the fifth smallest amount in his career. It marked the fewest passing yards for Luck, in a win where he played the whole game, since September 2013.
On most days, the Colts have to have peak Luck if they want a chance.
But not on Sunday.
“The great thing about this game is the team aspect of it,” Frank Reich said after his first win as a head coach. “It’s ours together, as a team, as a new era of Colts football, we share in this one together.”
The defense stood the tallest on Sunday with a dominating effort.
It stifled Washington’s run game, forced the Redskins to play left handed and held strong when thrown into some not-so favorable situations.
For a unit littered with youth, the young kids stepped up majorly in the 21-9 victory.
“They did an amazing job, especially in that third quarter there (when the offense was in a rut),” Luck said of the defense. “What a great job they did keeping us in the driver’s seat it felt like. It’s a fun unit to watch.
“They are young, they are fast, they are tough and they are only going to get better.”
That third quarter rut had the Colts go 4 straight series with no first downs, including a boneheaded interception by Luck.
So, with the lead cut to 14-9, the offense needed to do its part to find the ability to finish, which escaped the Colts in Week One (and for so much of last season).
They found it, with Luck and the offense moving 75 yards in 13 plays. Reich had the offense use some tempo and the drive was finished off with a beautiful play design to free T.Y. Hilton for a three-yard touchdown.
“That was a big-time call in a big-time situation,” Luck said of his head coach.
With Colts’ fans across the country thinking they were about to see the same movie again, with an ugly, ending, the script changed.
“I think there’s probably a moment in there, some people are saying, ‘Here we go again,’ when the third quarter starts,” Reich admitted after the win. “That thought probably went through everybody’s mind. That’s fair, until we prove otherwise.
“Today was step one to proving otherwise that we are going to finish.”
PHOTO: Getty Images/Rob Carr