While struggling on your opening game against the Oakland Raiders isn’t the best way to kick off a season, the Indianapolis Colts got further proof of making the right choice when they picked Andrew Luck, creating another impressive fourth quarter comeback and game-winning drive, keeping perfect so far in his career with a 7-0 record in games decided by four points or less.
Luck finished with 18-of-23 for 178 yards and a couple of touchdowns, including running for one himself: A 19-yard touchdown run with 5:20 left in the game to give the Colts the 21-17 lead. It was his 8th game-winning drive since the beginning of his NFL career, having more than anyone else in the league during that time span.
What was more impressive, on the day at least, was Luck’s ability to handle the pressure. The Oakland Raiders aren’t the best pass rushing team in the NFL, but he was almost perfect on the 15 blitzes he saw coming his way. He was sacked four times during the day, but he avoided making the big mistake. He completed 11-of-12 passes with five or more defenders coming at him for 99 yards and 7 first downs against that kind of pressure.
Luck’s first game winning drive came on his second NFL game, in a 23-20 win over the Minnesota Vikings. He took the team down the field 45 yards, just enough to score the winning field goal. Three weeks later the Colts stunned the Packers, as Luck took the team 80 yards down the field to hit Reggie Wayne in the end zone for the 30-27 win, 35 second to go.
On his 7th NFL game, a visit to Tennessee, Luck led the Colts 80 yards downfield in overtime, throwing a 16-yard pass to Vick Ballard and won the game 19-13. A week later it was a 23-20 win over the Dolphins, as he led the Colts on a 13-play, 69 yard drive to enable Adam Vinatieri the game winning field goal.
Maybe his most memorable comeback drive came against the Detroit Lions in a 35-33 win for the Colts. The Lions held a 33-21 lead in the fourth quarter, but he led them on to 85 & 75 yard drives in the final minutes of the game, throwing touchdown passes to LaVonn Brazill and Donnie Avery. On his second game against Tennessee the Colts won 27-23, leading two drives to get the Colts two field goals they needed to win the game.
In a 20-13 win over the Kansas City Chiefs, Luck led them on a 73-yard drive that ended with a 7-yard touchdown pass to Reggie Wayne.