INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck continued his march through history on Sunday in the team's 27-24 win over the Miami Dolphins.
With his first touchdown pass of the day, Luck broke a tie with Jim Kelly (161) for the eighth-most touchdown passes in a player’s first seven seasons in NFL history.
Early in the first quarter the Colts marched quickly down the field. With pressure bearing down in his face, Luck lofted a pass 14 yards downfield into the right side of the end zone, with tight end Eric Ebron leaping and coming down with the ball for the score, which capped a five-play, 75-yard drive.
Luck’s second touchdown pass — a one-yarder to tight end Jack Doyle — was another nice display, but it was his third touchdown pass that kept pushing Luck through the record books.
With the Colts down 24-17 and less than five minutes remaining, Luck scanned the field and found Ebron yet again for a 12-yard score to tie the game.
"12 – I’m happy he’s my quarterback," Ebron said about Luck after the game. "For real. He never surprises me."
That touchdown pass took Luck past Ebron's former Detroit Lions teammate Matthew Stafford (163) for seventh place in NFL history for touchdown passes in a player’s first seven seasons.
The third score also tied Peyton Manning for the most consecutive games with at least three touchdown passes in franchise history, as Luck now has accomplished that feat in eight straight contests. The mark ranks as the second longest in NFL history to Tom Brady’s 10 consecutive games with three passing touchdowns in 2007.
On Luck’s third touchdown toss, he also reached 300 yards through the air on the day, finishing with 343. That moves him into second place all-time in NFL history as his 31st game with at least 300 yards passing in his first seven seasons, breaking a tie with Manning, Matt Ryan, Stafford and Kurt Warner.
Luck also added his first-career reception in the second quarter. On 4th and 1, Jacoby Brissett lined up at quarterback with Luck split out wide to the left. Brissett faked the handoff and rifled the pass to a leaping Luck on along the left sideline for four yards and the first down.
Overall, these achievements take a momentary spot on the back burner to acknowledge Luck's efforts to come back from a 10-point deficit and form a last-minute, game-winning drive.
Facing 3rd and 9 from his own 43-yard line with two minutes remaining in the game, Luck slid through several defenders and climbed the pocket to find receiver Chester Rogers wide open down the left side of the field for a 34-yard gain.
A few plays later, kicker Adam Vinatieri nailed the 32-yard game-winner. Without that improvised play on third down, the Colts may not win the game.
“We’re just so used to him finding a way to make a play, especially converting in those kinds of situations in the clutch when we really need it," Colts head coach Frank Reich said about Luck after the game. "I wasn’t anticipating him finding someone for a 30 or 40-yard gain, but boy, did we need that.”
Luck enters next Sunday's divisional matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars one of the hottest quarterbacks in the NFL, having completed 299-of-437 passes for 3,112 yards with 32 touchdowns to just 11 interceptions and a quarterback rating of 102.7 on the year.