Many people were surely wondering whether Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck had been figured out by the Houston Texans as he went into the third quarter trailing 21-3. During the first half, he simply looked out of sorts, missing a number of receivers as a result of heavy pressure from star defensive end J.J. Watt and being heavily outplayed by Case Keenum.
Fast forward to the second half of the game, and it looked like Luck may have simply been taunting his opposition during the opening frames, as he threw three touchdowns during the final 16 minutes of the game to cap off a 27-24 victory. With the win, the Colts kept pace at the top of the AFC South and showed why their quarterback is not only one of the best in the game, but should be a top candidate for the NFL MVP Award in 2013.
Throughout the first eight games of the season, Luck has thrown for 1845 yards, a 58.33 completion percentage, 13 touchdowns, three interceptions and rushed for an additional three touchdowns. Suffice to say these statistics would not rank among the best in the NFL — maybe even not in the top-10 of quarterbacks. But, it is also easy to see that Luck is much more than a statistical machine.
When watching Luck lead the way throughout the 2013 season, it is apparent that he has a certain “it” factor that helps to elevate his play and conquer teams late in games. This has been largely evident as the Colts took down top teams such as the San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos.
In each game, Luck outplayed his counterparts — Colin Kaepernick, Russell Wilson and Peyton Manning — by a long shot, turning out in big games that have even forced great quarterbacks to make mistakes.
This inability to never be rattled by has defined the success of Luck throughout the 2013 season. Even when the team could not get its running game going or when star wide receiver Reggie Wayne went down to a torn ACL in Week 7, there was no look of agony on the face of Luck. In fact, it looked like he embraced these challenges, stepping up to make something out of nothing and turn T.Y. Hilton and Coby Fleener into star pass catchers.
Luck may not be the prettiest to watch at times or put up the best statistics in the league, but the guy simply knows how to win football games. This is a skill that can not be put into words or monetary value, although it should end up placing Luck at the top of the race for the MVP Award in 2013.