INDIANAPOLIS — Andrew Luck is back.
In his first regular season action since New Year's Day 2017, Luck returned to lead the Indianapolis Colts against the Cincinnati Bengals in front of the home crowd in both teams' 2018 regular season openers at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Colts were unable to finish off a late-game rally, losing 34-23.
On the day, Luck finished 39-for-53 passing for 319 yards, two touchdowns, one interception and a passer rating of 93.2. He also carried the ball once for seven yards.
Luck's first touchdown was a beautiful, 26-yard strike down the right sideline to tight end Eric Ebron, who the Colts acquired this offseason. The second score was a short, five-yard slant route to wide receiver T.Y. Hilton.
"Certainly some things worked well, and other times we left some yards out there, we left some points out there," Luck said following the game. "A red zone interception, that hurts a team. So, we'll get back to the drawing board, but you know, I thought we did some good things as well."
Although the Colts were not able to hang onto the win, any qualms from outside the organization about Luck's well being can be erased.
We saw his pinpoint accuracy and never-say-die demeanor on the field which led to Luck keeping some plays alive and leading an overall productive day from the offense. The unit also showed how diverse it can be, as Luck's career-high 39 completions were distributed to nine different receivers.
Luck led a quick-hitting unit that totaled 380 yards (75 rushing, 305 passing) on 77 plays. Although the offense was often up-tempo, jt were able to dominate the ball, leading time of possession 32:48-27:12 and running 27 more plays than the Bengals.
The Colts now turn their focus to the Washington Redskins in Week 2.
"We've got to improve. We have to improve," Luck said. "Wake up and it's a new day and the sun rises."