Andrew Luck has spent the first-half of his first NFL season largely in the shadow of fellow rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III. That changed Sunday when he set a new NFL rookie record for passing yards in the Indianapolis Colts 23-20 win over the Miami Dolphins.
Luck showed why he was the No. 1 overall pick in this year's NFL draft—one spot ahead of Griffin—in leading the once-hapless Colts to a 5-3 record and into the AFC playoff race Sunday. Next up for Indy is a road trip on a short week to take on the 1-7 Jacksonville Jaguars, whose lone win this year came against the Colts in Week Three. Since then it's been all downhill for Jacksonville, as they lost their fifth straight in a 31-14 defeat to the Detroit Lions Sunday.
The NFL odds for this game and the rest of the pro football menu will be unveiled later Monday.
Luck threw for a record-breaking 433 yards on 30 of 48 passing including two touchdowns against the Dolphins. That performance has set the hype-machine in motion, as Luck is now being discussed as an MVP candidate by reputable sources. That seems a stretch. He does rank in the NFL's top-10 with 1,971 passing yards, but his eight touchdown passes against eight interceptions doesn't yet measure up with the elite quarterbacks.
That could certainly change moving forward as the reeling Jaguars are first in line for the Colts.
Jacksonville was gashed for three rushing touchdowns by Mikel Leshoure and were outgained 434-279 by the Lions. Quarterback Blaine Gabbert and the Jaguars offense did virtually nothing in the first half and found themselves down 21-0 in the second quarter as a result. Gabbert wound up throwing two inconsequential touchdown passes while going 27 of 38 for 220 yards in the loss to Detroit.
While Jacksonville did win at Indianapolis earlier this year, these teams have gone in drastically different directions and that result appears an aberration. Indy should be hungry to avenge that loss and seem a solid favorite Thursday night.
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