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Ben Smith

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Associated Press
Colts quarterback Andrew Luck is confident to run the no-huddle offense and make fourth-quarter comebacks look routine.

Colts’ Luck living up to hype

– Four games in now, and we see what the Indianapolis Colts saw.

We see Andrew Luck pump his fist and find Reggie Wayne again and turn sour cynicism on its head – forget S- For Luck, that was Luck For Chuck he gave us Sunday – and lead, brother, like someone else used to lead down in The Luke.

We see him throw for two scores and run for another to bring the Colts back in the second half against Aaron Rodgers ’n’ them, and, again, stir echoes of another time.

We see him putting up 313 yards against Jacksonville and then 362 against the Packers, and he looks comfortable back there, suddenly, the way the Colts’ brain trust always figured. And maybe sooner than they figured.

You don’t run across many guys who hang up the signature “W” four games into their careers.

But Colts 30, Packers 27 was one out of myth. Luck For Chuck, meet The Drive, or at least some lower-case version.

“I don’t consider Andrew young anymore,” interim coach Bruce Arians said last week.

“We might be rookies, but we try not to act like them all the time,” Luck said himself.

And then: “It’s part of growing up, learning, getting experience. Having four games now under the belt is huge.”

And now it’s on to New York, and another huge moment. Because, yes, having four games under the belt is huge, in the sense that this roadie shouldn’t remotely resemble the season opener at Chicago, when the Bears overwhelmed the young Colts 41-12 and Luck looked out of his depth, turning the ball over four times.

“Pretty soon, we’re not going to be young anymore,” is how Arians puts it. “When you play these guys long enough, going into this week the youth part of it can’t be used as an excuse anymore. They’ve been down that road.”

So much so, apparently, that Arians insists the Colts put last week’s emotional win behind them on Monday, and that it was on to the Jets after that.

And in Luck’s case in particular, so much so that there really isn’t anything left in the cupboard that the Colts’ staff is holding back until their rookie gets his feet beneath him.

“We open (the offense) up anymore, there won’t be any envelopes left,” Arians says.

“There’s nothing else that we haven’t done in training camp. We put everything in in training camp. Each week we’ll bring a little bit out and use it.”

Fine with Luck.

“Does the playbook still feel overwhelming?” he was asked last week.

“It’s not overwhelming, and it hasn’t been really for a while,” he replied.

The numbers certainly back that up. In four games, Luck has thrown for 1,208 yards, and he’s gotten 675 of those in the last two weeks.

He has as many touchdown passes (seven) as, among others, Joe Flacco and Jay Cutler. And he has as many interceptions (five) as Eli Manning, and fewer than Cutler, Tony Romo and … wait for it … Drew Brees.

And all while throwing the football 177 times, an average of 44.25 per game.

And so: On to New York, with the mindset of the seasoned pro, even if he’s not yet all that seasoned.

“We can’t look in the rearview mirror,” Luck said. “We can’t keep patting ourselves on the back for one win. We’ve got to move on.”

Who can’t see that?

Ben Smith has been covering sports in Fort Wayne since 1986. His columns appear four times a week. He can be reached by email at bensmith@jg.net; phone, 461-8736; or fax 461-8648.

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