He is just two games into his NFL career but Andrew Luck’s ability to thrive in the two-minute offense rivals that of almost any veteran quarterback around the league.
Luck has led the Colts offense on three two-minute drives (the three drives have lasted a combined 2:04) and each time has put his team in a place to score.
Head coach Chuck Pagano has taken notice of how Luck has performed in those situations and credits his rookie quarterback’s demeanor to be able to handle such a chaotic time.
“He’s calm. He doesn’t get rattled,” Pagano said of Luck. “He sees the field, he understands the offense extremely well, and he knows exactly what he’s getting because he puts the time in.”
Against the Bears, Luck and the offense got the ball back at the Indianapolis 22-yard line with 44 seconds remaining in the first half.
He connected on four straight passes for 59 yards, setting up a field goal opportunity with six seconds left in the half.
With the first half clock winding down again on Sunday, Luck was back at it again looking for a late score.
The Colts defense forced a three-and-out and gave the offense the ball back at Indianapolis’ own 36-yard line with 1:11 left until halftime.
Luck hit three of his first five passes (including a spike) on the drive for 24 yards and then scrambled seven yards to the Vikings 30-yard line with 14 seconds left in the half.
Instead of playing for a field goal with no timeouts remaining, Luck wanted the whole thing.
Wide receiver Reggie Wayne beat press coverage from the slot and Luck placed a perfect pass just over Vikings linebacker Erin Henderson for the 30-yard touchdown.
The Wayne score gave the Colts a 17-6 halftime lead and the touchdown proved to be pivotal when Luck took the field with 31 seconds left.
The Colts had surrendered their two-touchdown lead and overtime was staring Indianapolis right in the face.
However, Luck and the offense had other ideas, driving 45 yards behind a pair of 20-yard completions to set up kicker Adam Vinatieri’s 53-yard game-winning field goal.
“It’s just amazing that the guy is able to go out there and do the things that he does for a rookie,” Pagano said of Luck. “Obviously, we’ve talked many times before that he never acts like one. He certainly didn’t in that situation. It’s just a testament to him, the work that he puts in, all the guys around him, the receivers, everybody that made plays, he certainly had to put the ball on them and he did.”
Pagano said his staff has looked into more ‘no-huddle’ offense but the need for a stable offensive line is a key for success in those situations.
In his three two-minute drives this season, Luck is 10-of-14 (with two spikes) for 153 yards and has helped the offense produce 10 points.
“The way Coach Arians has it set up and it’s very friendly to the quarterback. Not having to call 18 words for a play, its two words and let’s go,” Luck said.
“I think Reggie Wayne, who’s probably done 1,000 two-minute drills in his life, seen every situation. He is a guy you can lean on. Donnie (Avery), did a great job getting open (Sunday), using his speed in two-minute, but I think it comes down to practice time and the O-line really just pressing, making sure you get that extra push in there and get that foot in the ground.”
Tags: Andrew Luck, bruce arians, chuck pagano, donnie avery, Reggie Wayne
Posted in Colts Blog