Much of the thanks had to be given to quarterback Andrew Luck, who completed 29 of 45 passes (64%) while throwing for four scores and 443 yards despite thowing a couple of early interceptions.
Flashback to last season's Wild Card Weekend.
The Colts struggled to get anything going offensively, only scoring nine points in a 24-9 loss to the eventual Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens. Luck threw for 288 yards but was forced to drop back 54 times.
Flash-forward to this postseason.
Luck was forced to drop back 45 times but his team still scored 45 points—a huge difference in comparison to the Ravens game.
What should the football world take away from Luck's explosive performance on Wild Card Weekend heading into the Colts matchup against the New England Patriots?
There were a couple instances in the Kansas City game where Luck was able to hit his man perfectly. Obviously, Luck is an accurate quarterback; that's not the point. His offensive line has been healthy down the latter part of the season and they have been clicking.
Luck has been seeing downfield better than he has at any point all season. Being able to hit Coby Fleener, Darrius Heyward-Bey and T.Y. Hilton in key situations to get big yardage. Luck's vision is continuing to improve, though it isn't obvious at first glance.
The usual assumption is that a second-year QB would struggle once the league had adjusted to his play. Luck has done otherwise. The gunslinger has improved, which is why the Colts find themselves in a position to get to the AFC Championship Game. Last season's playoff performance has been put to rest.
Part of the maturing process is finding a will, a will to win. The Chiefs saw that first hand. Donald Brown took a handoff from Luck in the red zone, bounced to the left, was hit and eventually fumbled. Luck picked up the loose ball and took it to the house, getting his team an important score. A will to win is something you cannot teach. Luck has that will, folks.
Coming into his rookie season, Luck had been compared every which way to former Colts QB Peyton Manning. The comparisons were spot on, no doubt about it.
The most important comparison shown on Wild Card Weeked? The ability to make adjustments. Luck was able to scan the defense, look at a few mistakes he made earlier in the game and finally capitalize on the adjustments. It was a huge part to the come-from-behind victory.
The last takeaway from Luck's explosive performance on Wild Card Weekend is the fact that he capped-off yet another comeback.
Luck is improving in every phase of the game. He is developing into the star that he was projected to become. Expect him to continue the improvement on Saturday against the New England Patriots.
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