As you go through the Bills schedule, trying to figure out which games are wins and which are losses, I’ll bet you don’t spend much time thinking about the November 25th contest at Indianapolis.
You probably think “win” before you even finish saying “Indianapolis” to yourself.
You might want to leave a little more time to mull that one over. I’m probably violating the cardinal rule of putting too much stock in a pre-season game but that “lock” over the Colts doesn’t seem as certain after watching the NFL debut of Andrew Luck.
I, like many others, was thoroughly impressed by his college career but figured there would be some growing pains in the pros.
Luck not only comes in with the “can’t miss” label and the pressure of being the number one overall pick in the draft but he also steps into humungous shoes left behind by future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning.
Despite that, the Stanford product looked like a proven veteran during his nearly one half of football against the St. Louis Rams on Sunday. Cool, calm, in charge and under control are just some of the words that describe his performance.
If his career lives up to its hype, people will say you could tell from the start that Luck was bound for stardom. How many rookie quarterbacks throw a touchdown pass on their very first play?
Lets not go overboard though. Luck threw a 5 yard screen pass and Donald Brown did most of the work on the 63 yard scoring play.
But Luck led two other scoring drives and executed the offense almost flawlessly. A stark contrast to the performance of the Bills offense against Washington.
Luck showed a strong pocket presence but when flushed out by blitzes, he remained calm and made strong, accurate throws on the run. He wasn’t flustered by any blitzes or pressure from the Rams.
Whether it was throwing to his left, right, down the middle or outside the numbers, Luck displayed ability to make all the throws. On one touchdown pass he looked down the middle to help freeze the safety, then turned to his right and threw a strike to the corner of the end zone.
He was 10 of 16 for 188 yards and two TD passes but his numbers should have been better since at least two of those incompletions were drops.
I thought Robert Griffin III looked good against the Bills but Luck looked much better facing the Rams although he got more snaps, threw the ball more often and played against what should be the weaker of the two defenses.
Like I said, it made me think twice about the game with the Colts who might actually flirt with .500 when you think about the division they play in and when you take into account their schedule.
In case you are worried about Luck and the Colts, I do have some good news for you. The Rams first string defense was shredded and the offensive line still can’t keep Sam Bradford from getting hit so go ahead and lock in that win on December 9th.