INDIANAPOLIS --Andrew Luck threw accurate line drives and crafty lobs. He threw over and between defenders. He threw with defenders draped all over him.
And when he departed Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday, Luck took with him the NFL's passing yardage record for a rookie quarterback. He passed for 433 yards in a 23-20 victory over the Miami Dolphins, hitting 30-of-48 with a pair of touchdowns. The yardage broke the single-game mark of 432 set by Carolina's Cam Newton in 2011.
Luck also helped to elevate his team's record to 5-3 and keep the Colts positioned nicely in the NFL playoff race at the 2012 season's midway point. And that, more than anything, pleased both Luck and his coach.
"I'll let you guys write about records and all of those things," Colts Interim Coach Bruce Arians told the media. "The only record we care about is our wins and losses. That was a big win for us."
The Colts, who came out of Sunday's game with numerous injuries, get only a few days of preparation ahead of Thursday night's outing at Jacksonville. Any postseason talk will have to wait.
"Just go to work tomorrow," Arians said about the philosophy his club will take. "Don't worry about December or January. Those are long-range goals. All we can do is control tomorrow."
Luck echoed Arians' comments.
"Obviously, this is a step in the right direction," the quarterback said about postseason goals. "So I am proud of that. But we haven't accomplished the end goal by any means. It's a long process.
"We feel if we play well, we're going to have the opportunity to win enough football games and do some good things. We do believe in ourselves and I know the city believes in us. It's a fun team to be on and it's a fun place to play and I'm really enjoying it."
The Colts went up by three when Adam Vinatieri connected on a 43-yard field goal with 5:58 left in the game. It proved to be the winning points.
Luck set it up like he did virtually all of the scoring on Sunday, by being on top of his game in a vertical passing attack.
Football folks like to call them "chunk plays." Luck was completing passes in big and timely chunks, with 18 of his 30 connections resulting in double-digit gains. Nine went for 20 yards or longer.
Luck also was a master of third-down passing, completing 13-of-17 for 204 yards. His completions went to seven different receivers. Donnie Avery led the Colts with 108 receiving yards. T.Y. Hilton had 102.
Miami drafted a strong rookie passer of its own in Ryan Tannehill, who completed 22-of-38 for 290 yards and a touchdown. On this day, however, he couldn't match Luck. The Dolphins left town with a 4-4 record.
Running back Vick Ballard, a rookie from Mississippi State, led the Colts with 60 rushing yards. Ballard's last three runs of the day wrapped up the Colts' victory. He busted for one, two and then 19 yards to run out the final 1:37.
FIRST QUARTER (4:15 remaining)
Ryan Tannehill's 14-yard completion to Davone Bess and a 13-yarder to Brian Hartline helped set Miami's drive in motion. However, a quarterback sack on Tannehill by the Colts' Robert Mathis played a part in stalling the march, and the Dolphins were forced to settle for a 37-yard field goal by Dan Carpenter. Dolphins 3, Colts 0
FIRST QUARTER (47 seconds remaining)
Andrew Luck completed four passes for 51 yards to lead the Colts down the field. Luck's final pass went for a nine-yard touchdown to Reggie Wayne, who made a leaping catch near the goal post. A big play in the drive was a 32-yard pass interference penalty against Miami's Koa Misi. Adam Vinatieri booted the extra point. Colts 7, Dolphins 3
SECOND QUARTER (13:25 remaining)
It was Tannehill's turn again to put on a passing show. The Dolphins rookie completed 3-of-4 passes for 76 yards. The touchdown was a 31-yard completion to Charles Clay, who outran linebacker Pat Angerer on the right sideline. Carpenter hit the extra point. Dolphins 10, Colts 7
SECOND QUARTER (9:37 remaining)
The quarterback show continued. Luck opened the drive with a 48-yard pass to Donnie Avery. He had another big completion, hitting Vick Ballard for a 14-yard gain on third down. The Colts pushed into the red zone, where the drive slowed. Vinatieri connected on a 23-yard field goal.Dolphins 10, Colts 10
SECOND QUARTER (5:07 remaining)
Reggie Bush turned in a cutting and juking 18-yard touchdown run to send the Dolphins up. Tannehill helped to set it up with completions of 19, 11 and seven yards. Carpenter hit the extra point. Dolphins 17, Colts 10
SECOND QUARTER (7 seconds remaining)
Luck went back to work, completing 5-of-9 passes for 63 yards and leading the Colts on a 10-play march. All five of Luck's completions resulted in drive-extending first downs. It led to a 47-yard field goal by Vinatieri just before halftime. Luck finished the half with 273 passing yards, having spread the ball to seven different receivers. Dolphins 17, Colts 13
THIRD QUARTER (1:49 remaining)
For the score this time, Luck threaded the needle between a pair of Miami defenders in the end zone, locating T.Y. Hilton for a 36-yard completion that elevated the Colts back into the lead. Luck's pass was a thing of beauty. Hilton's catch was a picture of craftiness as he split the defenders in the end zone. The drive went nine plays and 82 yards. Vinatieri added the extra point. Colts 20, Dolphins 17
FOURTH QUARTER (13:12 remaining)
Tannehill completed passes of 15, 13 and 16 yards to lead the Dolphins down the field. The Colts defense stiffened and Miami settled for a field goal -- a 31-yarder by Carpenter.Colts 20, Dolphins 20
FOURTH QUARTER (5:58 remaining)
Luck hit six passes for 54 yards, leading the Colts on a drive that went 69 yards on 13 plays. A two-yard completion to tight end Dwayne Allen on 2nd-and-8 at Miami's 27 gave Luck the NFL's passing yardage record for a rookie (433). Vinatieri hit a 43-yard field goal that proved to be the game-winner.Colts 23, Dolphins 20