2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Luck aces latest test in 39-33 win over Broncos

By MICHAEL MAROT - AP Sports Writer
    2013-10-21 03:24

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Andrew Luck aced his latest test Sunday night.

Going head-to-head against his predecessor with the Colts, the 24-year-old quarterback showed everyone he's more than a worthy replacement for Peyton Manning. He beat Manning at his own game.

On a night that was supposed to belong exclusively to homecoming king, Luck executed a perfect 2-minute drill at the end of the first half, threw three touchdown passes, ran for his third score of the season and kept the Broncos' defense off balance all night. The result: Indianapolis 39, Denver 33.

''I thought he played really well,'' coach Chuck Pagano said of Luck. ''I think he had three touchdown passes at half, if I'm not mistaken, 128-something QB rating. There were some errant things in the second half that happened that we'd love to have back. There's always going to be some plays here and there that you'd love to have back, but I thought he played really well.''

Luck played well enough to hand the Broncos (6-1) their first loss of the season, leaving surprising Kansas City as the NFL's last unbeaten team. And Luck played well enough to ruin what most expected to be Manning's chance to prove the Colts (5-2) made a mistake by releasing him in March 2012 so they could rebuild with Luck at the helm.

It was not pure Luck, though he did prove he could thrive under heavy pressure with a prime-time effort.

Here are five other things we learned Sunday night:

FAR FROM PERFECT: Denver may have come into the game with an unbeaten record and Manning seemingly steamrolling to reclaim the touchdown pass record. But Denver is far from the perfect team. The Colts, coming off a Monday night loss in which they didn't score a touchdown at San Diego, finished with a season-high 39 points and capitalized on just about every mistake the Broncos made. They sacked Manning four times, forced a fumble that turned into a safety and a touchdown and picked him off, too. Afterward, Manning called it a game to learn from.

NEW AND IMPROVED: Colts owner Jim Irsay caught a lot of heat this week for noting that the Colts are building around a different model without Manning. He wanted a more balanced offense, a steadier defense and stronger special teams. It was a big reason the Colts held on Sunday. Indy ran 31 times for 121 yards and kept the ball for more than 31 minutes. Luck still threw for 228 yards and three TDs, and while the defense gave up yards, it limited the NFL's highest-scoring team to a season-low point total, which forced Denver to play catch-up. Indy had better field position most of the night and it turned a fumbled punt return into a touchdown.

LINE DANCE: Denver has already lost its starting left tackle and its starting center and things have gotten even worse with the loss of right tackle Orlando Franklin (sprained left knee). So, Denver shuffled the lineup and struggled. The question going forward is this: What kind of protection can Manning expect? While that answer will need to be developed over the next several weeks, it's clear Denver coaches must take another look at what they have. Left tackle Chris Clark was repeatedly burned by speedy pass rusher Robert Mathis, and with the game on the line, Indy's other outside linebacker, Erik Walden, got his hand on Manning's arm to force a rare interception.

RISING TO THE OCCASION: With each passing week, the Colts' defense takes a step forward saving its top performances for its toughest opponents - as Denver found out the hard way. Indy held defending NFC champion San Francisco to seven points, on the road, last month another NFC Super Bowl favorite, Seattle, to just 16 points over the final three quarters after falling into a 12-0 deficit. While they gave up a season-high 33 points to the Broncos, Indy was the first team this season to even slow down Denver's offense, which spent most of the night trying to play catch-up after averaging more than 44 points per game over the first six weeks.

INJURIES HURT: Neither John Fox nor Chuck Pagano were prepared to say how costly this game might be to their teams. But the two biggest injury concerns are franchise cornerstones. Denver lost cornerback Champ Bailey late in the first half when his left foot got caught in a scrum trying to take down running back Trent Richardson. Bailey angrily walked off the field after re-injuring the same foot that kept him out of the first five games. He did not return. The Colts lost Reggie Wayne in the fourth quarter with a sprained right knee that sent him to the locker room in tears. And while the Colts are hoping for the best, Wayne is expected to undergo an MRI on Monday.

---

AP NFL website: http://pro32.ap.org/poll

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Zac StacyMay 1 08:22a

St. Louis Rams RB Zac Stacy has asked the team for a trade or to be released after the team selected RB Todd Gurley in the first round of [ More ]

Sam BradfordMay 1 12:52a

The Philadelphia Eagles offered the Tennessee Titans two first-round picks, one third-round pick, DT Fletcher Cox, CB Brandon Boykin, LB Mychal Kendricks and QB Sam Bradford in exchange for [ More ]

Ryan TannehillApr 30 10:52p

Miami Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill is coming off his best season as a pro, and the team has added WR Kenny Stills, WR Greg Jennings, WR DeVante Parker and [ More ]

Manuel RamirezApr 30 10:42p

The Detroit Lions traded the 23rd overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft to the Denver Broncos for C Manuel Ramirez, the 28th overall pick, the 143rd overall pick and a 2016 fifth-round pick.

Trindon HollidayApr 30 03:32p

San Francisco 49ers WR Trindon Holliday was released Thursday, April 30, while OG Fou Fonoti and WR Lance Lewis were waived.

Montee BallApr 30 03:32p

Denver Broncos RB Montee Ball is confident that he will regain the lead-back role with the team, but admitted that RB C.J. Anderson deserves the job right now. Ball [ More ]

Philip WheelerApr 30 03:22p

Free-agent LB Philip Wheeler (Dolphins) signed with the San Francisco 49ers Thursday, April 30. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Adrian PetersonApr 30 02:12p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is still expected to remain with the Vikings even though former NFL WR Cris Carter indicated Peterson could be traded in the near future.

Tom CrabtreeApr 30 01:02p

Free-agent TE Tom Crabtree (Saints) has announced his retirement from professional football.

Bruce IrvinApr 29 11:33p

The Seattle Seahawks do not plan on picking up the fifth-year option on LB Bruce Irvin, according to sources.

L.J. FortApr 29 03:13p

Cincinnati Bengals LB L.J. Fort was waived Wednesday, April 29.

Martellus BennettApr 29 02:33p

Chicago Bears TE Martellus Bennett could be on the move since the Bears are entertaining trade offers for him, according to sources. Bennett is looking for a new contract [ More ]

Johnny ManzielApr 28 08:43p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel's commitment is 'night and day' from last year, according to Browns OT Joe Thomas, Tuesday, April 28. Manziel has been participating in the Browns' [ More ]

Philip RiversApr 28 06:13p

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers will not be traded, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Additionally, the Chargers will not extend Rivers' contract as of now, but they [ More ]

Matt ForteApr 28 05:13p

Chicago Bears RB Matt Forte was not present for the team's commencement of their voluntary minicamp Tuesday, April 28. Forte was also absent for the beginning of the offseason [ More ]

Quanterus SmithApr 28 01:23p

Denver Broncos DE Quanterus Smith (knee) was waived Tuesday, April 28, after a failed physical on his left knee. Smith played in 15 games last year and had 11 tackles and zero sacks.

Dion JordanApr 28 01:13p

Miami Dolphins DE Dion Jordan will be suspended for the entire 2015 season for another substance abuse policy violation, according to league sources. Jordan will not appeal the suspension.

Quanterus SmithApr 28 10:32a

Denver Broncos DE Quanterus Smith was waived Tuesday, April 28, according to a source.

Adrian PetersonApr 28 08:52a

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is 80% likely to remain with the Vikings, in the opinion of ESPN insider Chris Mortensen.

Sam BradfordApr 28 01:13a

Philadelphia Eagles QB Sam Bradford was acquired to be the team's quarterback, not as a trade pawn. Bradford will only sign an extension with the Eagles with a no-trade [ More ]

Philip RiversApr 27 09:12p

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers hadn't been the topic of conversations between the Chargers and other NFL teams as of Monday, April 27. There have been plenty of [ More ]

Jonte GreenApr 27 04:22p

Buffalo Bills CB Jonte Green was released Monday, April 27.

Michael CoxApr 27 02:42p

New York Giants RB Michael Cox was waived Monday, April 27.

Philip RiversApr 27 02:12p

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers is unlikely to be traded to the Tennessee Titans on draft day this Thursday, April 30. A deal couldn't be done without Rivers [ More ]

Sam BradfordApr 24 06:02p

Oregon QB Marcus Mariota could be selected by the Philadelphia Eagles if the team could make trades with the Cleveland Browns and Tennessee Titans, according to one draft rumor. [ More ]

Chris PolkApr 24 05:42p

Philadelphia Eagles restricted free-agent RB Chris Polk's tender offer has been rescinded by the Eagles, according to a source. Polk will become an unrestricted free agent and allowed to sign with any team.

Jaiquawn JarrettApr 24 04:52p

New York Jets restricted free-agent SS Jaiquawn Jarrett signed his tender offer Friday, April 24. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Hakeem NicksApr 24 01:42p

Free-agent WR Hakeem Nicks (Colts) agreed to terms on an undisclosed deal with the Tennessee Titans Friday, April 24.

Justin BlackmonApr 24 12:42p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Justin Blackmon is likely done with the Jaguars if he's reinstated into the league, in the opinion of beat writer Ryan O'Halloran.

Adrian PetersonApr 23 05:22p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson may not be in the Dallas Cowboys' plans after all, according Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports. Robinson said the Cowboys have not spoken to the Vikings regarding Peterson.

Demaryius ThomasApr 23 03:32p

Denver Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas has decided not to participate in offseason workouts because he does not want to suffer an injury, but general manager John Elway does not [ More ]

Will HillApr 23 03:12p

Baltimore Ravens restricted free-agent FS Will Hill signed his tender offer Thursday, April 23, according to sources. Hill received a one-year deal worth $1.54 million.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group