Andrew Luck named AFC Player of Month

Quarterback earns honor for first time in three-year career.

Andrew Luck can add yet another first to his list of NFL accomplishments.

The Indianapolis Colts quarterback was named AFC Offensive Player of the Month for November Thursday.

The NFL’s passing leader completed 88-of-144 passes for 1,280 yards, 12 touchdowns and two interceptions for a 112.0 passer rating in November. The Colts (8-4) won three of four games. His touchdown total tied for third in the league, his passer rating ranked fifth and his passing yardage sixth for the month.

In a Week 9 meeting at the New York Giants, Luck became the first player in NFL history with at least 350 passing yards in five consecutive road contests. He joined Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees (twice) as the only quarterbacks in league history with at least 3,000 passing yards in their team’s first nine games to begin a season and also became the third player in NFL history with six consecutive games of 40-plus attempts.

In Week 11 against New England, Luck had his eighth consecutive 300-yard passing game, which ranks as the second-longest streak in NFL history. In Week 12 against Jacksonville, he took sole possession of second place in team history for consecutive games with 20-or-more completions. He finished with eight rushes for 49 yards, which was the second-highest single-game rushing total of his career.

In a Week 13 win against Washington, Luck became the fifth quarterback since 1970 to record 30 victories in the first three seasons of a career. He established a career-high with five touchdown passes and had at least four touchdown passes for the sixth time in his career. His five touchdown passes tied for the third-most in a single game in team history and he became the first quarterback in franchise history to throw for two touchdowns of 70-plus yards in a single game.

Luck joined Johnny Unitas (one) and Peyton Manning (six) as the only quarterbacks in franchise history to throw for 30-plus touchdowns in a single season and tied Carson Palmer (78) for the fourth-most passing touchdowns in the first three seasons of a quarterback’s career in NFL history.

He set a career-long with a 79-yard pass to rookie wide receiver Donte Moncrief, which went for his fifth touchdown. On the play, Luck reached 4,000 passing yards for the year and joined Peyton Manning and Hall of Famer Dan Marino as the only players to pass for 4,000 yards in two of their first three NFL seasons. He also became the third-fastest player to reach 12,000 career passing yards in NFL history.

Luck posted his 10th 300-yard passing game of the year, which set a single-season franchise record (Peyton Manning, nine in 2004). With 19 completions, he passed Andy Dalton (992) for the second-most completions in the first three seasons of a quarterback’s career in NFL history. Luck finished with four touchdown passes of 30-plus yards and became only the second player in the last 10 years to accomplish the feat in a single game (Matt Flynn vs. Detroit 1/1/12).

This season, Luck has completed 313-of-491 passes (63.7 percent) for 4,011 yards, 34 touchdowns, 11 interceptions and a 103.0 passer rating in 12 starts. His completion percentage, touchdown total and passer rating are all career highs. He has also rushed for 213 yards and two touchdowns on 50 attempts.

For his career, Luck has completed 995-of-1,688 passes for 12,207 yards, 80 touchdowns, 38 interceptions and a 87.8 passer rating, while rushing for 845 yards and 11 touchdowns.

He is the second Colts player to earn AFC Player of the Month honors in 2014. Punter Pat McAfee was honored as the AFC Special Teams Player of the Month for September. The Colts are the second team in the NFL this season to earn two Player of the Month awards.

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

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