Andrew Luck not about his numbers

Colts' quarterback is playing at his highest level in NFL, but is quick to say he's been far from perfect and can play better.

As the NFL world is well aware, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck is off to the best start in his three-year career.

He leads the league in touchdown passes (13) and passing yards (1,305). Luck is the first player in league history to throw for at least 370 yards, complete at least 70 percent of his passes, throw four or more touchdowns and have one or no interceptions in consecutive games.

Tight end Coby Fleener, who played with Luck at Stanford and was drafted in the second round the same year as his Cardinal quarterback, said it was merely a matter of time before the quarterback started putting up big numbers.

“So now that it’s here, it’s not a shock,” Fleener said Wednesday. “I think this is kind of the Andrew Luck that everybody here sees on a daily basis, and now the people that follow the stats actually maybe believe it. I don’t know, it doesn’t really matter to us. We know he’s a special quarterback regardless of what the numbers say.”

A more formidable challenge that the previous two, Tennessee and Jacksonville, awaits. The Baltimore Ravens (3-1) visit Lucas Oil Stadium Sunday.

But the Colts (2-2), and especially Luck, aren’t big talkers about what sizes up to be an important game in gauging the strength of two decent AFC teams.

“We were talking earlier, if you want to be a team in the AFC, you’re going to have to beat this Baltimore defense, this year hopefully and for many years to come,” Luck said. “It’s a very good team. Obviously with Coach (Chuck) Pagano’s history and a bunch of guys’ history with the Ravens back-and-forth, there might be a little bit more ‘you know the team a little bit better.’ But I don’t think that changes too much on the field. It’s just another really good, tough football team coming into town.”

Pagano was John Harbaugh’s defensive coordinator in 2011, and the Ravens secondary coach from 2008 to 2010. When Pagano became Colts head coach in 2012, one of his first moves was to have free-agent defensive end Cory Redding come to Indy. The Colts also signed former Ravens defensive tackle Arthur Jones last offseason, although Jones is sidelined by a high ankle sprain.

The two teams have recent history on the field, too. The Ravens bounced the Colts from the AFC playoffs 24-9 in Baltimore in the 2012 postseason.

It doesn’t do any good to ask Luck about the secret to his success. His mind doesn’t work that way. He dwells more on his failings (four interceptions) than his successes.

“By no means has it been perfect,” he said. “There’s still a long way to go. It obviously hasn’t been a perfect start by any means. We have as an offense I think built up a decent rhythm, able to run the ball well, done some good things in the passing game and found some points, yeah.”

Luck’s emergence has the Colts No. 1 in points scored (34 per game) and total offense (444 yards per game). The Ravens’ defense is No. 2 in fewest points allowed (15 per game).

The quarterback actually attributes some of his success to being able to shake off mistakes during a game.

“Usually you make a mistake and you’ve got another play, hopefully not the last play of the game or the last play of the last game of the season,” Luck said. “You realize somewhere you’ve just got to flush it or else you’re just going to continue to hurt your team if you dwell on it too much.

“I know in a game mistakes happen. Throw an interception, I’ll get mad, I’ll get mad. You let that kind of run its course for a couple seconds then realize, ‘Alright, what’s up for the next play? How do we get moving forward?’ Because you don’t want to continue to hurt your team by staying emotionally hung up on it I guess.”

Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.


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