Last week, the Indianapolis Colts were able to cap a mad rally against the Kansas City Chiefs and win a wild AFC Wild Card matchup despite turning the ball over four times, including three interceptions from Andrew Luck. While many praised the poise and never-say-die attitude of Luck and the Colts in their come-from-behind win, but there was no doubt that was not a viable winning formula going forward. Unfortunately, they fell into the same mistakes in the AFC Divisional Playoffs against the New England Patriots but came up short in their attempt to dig themselves out of their self-made hole.
On the road against Tom Brady and the Pats, everyone knew that Indianapolis would have to play well out of the gate to keep their playoff run alive. But on the very first drive of the game, Luck was picked off as he stared down his intended receiver and Alfonzo Dennard stepped in front and returned it down to the one-yard line setting up New England’s first touchdown of the game in the first minute of play. Luck would end up throwing four interceptions on the night, pushing his total in two playoff games to seven after throwing just nine in the entire regular season.
Luck has made a name for himself in his early career by being able to rally his team late and win games in the fourth quarter. But his early mistakes in games came back to bite the Colts in a major way in this game against New England. Against the best teams in the NFL, in big moments like the playoffs, those mistakes get amplified and result in ugly losses like this one. If Luck hopes to take his team to the top, which he certainly has the talent to do, he has to clean it up earlier in the game and avoid putting himself in such difficult situations.
The 2013 season comes to a disappointing end for the Colts and Luck must learn from this experience for future playoff runs. He can’t continue to make the big mistakes in big moments the put his team behind the eight-ball early because he isn’t always going to be able to save them with his heroics.