How about some numbers trivia. Off the top of your head, without cheating and looking it up, how many turnovers did the Colts have in their last three games?
Anybody guess 10? Isn’t that something? And they won each of them, too.
How many times have the Colts fumbled the football in those games?
That would be 13. And lost fumbles? Seven. For perspective, the Colts lost four of 14 fumbles in the entire 2013 season.
For the season, how many turnovers do the Colts have?
Too many to count? Yes, indeed, 26.
Just Philadelphia (30) and Tampa Bay (28) have more. For perspective, the Colts had a league-low 14 last season. They’re on pace for 32, which would be the most since coach Tony Dungy’s first season in 2002. That team lost half of 26 fumbles and Peyton Manning had 19 interceptions.
Oh, and those 10-6 Colts were one-and-done in the playoffs, bounced 41-0 by the New York Jets in a brutal wild-card road trip.
Luck is obviously tired of talking about how the Colts have lost 13 of 28 fumbles coupled with him being intercepted 13 times. But as he admitted Wednesday, “It starts with me.” While an inconsistent offensive line gets some of the blame, Luck has lost four of six fumbles in the last three games. For the season, he’s lost half of a dozen fumbles.
Luck has 62 turnovers in 48 career games counting the playoffs. That ties the New York Giants' Eli Manning for most in the league since 2012.
“I don’t know what else to say about it,” Luck said. “I work on it in practice, and I’ve got to do it.”
In spite of this madden trend of sharing the ball, the Colts are 9-4 and can clinch their second consecutive AFC South Division crown Sunday with a home win over the Houston Texans. But most of the questions were about the giveaways, questions that have been asked for weeks, now months.
“You can’t afford to survive your mistakes in a sense every week,” he said.
Luck leads the NFL with 4,305 passing yards, 250 more than Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger. His 36 touchdown passes are tied with Peyton Manning for the league lead. So there are undeniable positives in his third season.
But he also tries to do too much at times. A tackler can have him wrapped up, and the 6-4, 240-pound Luck is so big and strong, he’ll still try to throw a pass to avoid the sack. That cost the Colts a touchdown in Sunday’s 25-24 win at Cleveland. Luck was stopped, he tried to unload, another Browns defender hit him, the ball bounced into the end zone and was recovered by the home team.
Asked if he thought his fumbles were result of trying to do too much or extend a play too often, Luck said, “No, I think just careless, (a) careless attitude towards the football.”
So how does he correct that?
“Just take a sack, make sure you don’t try to throw it away in a sense,” he said. “Hold on to it. Emphasize it in practice, keep working on it.
“Again, you can talk about it all you want, but it’s about what you do in the game and I realize that and I’ve just got to do it.”
Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.