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Luck: Historical Greatness Inside Two Minutes

This past weekend I was doing some film review, charting some Andrew Luck stats for a later post, when I was reminded of an impressive trend: Andrew Luck driving the Colts down the field in incredibly short amounts of time to score at the end of halves, or what I call “sub-two-minute” drives.

It started during Week 1, when Luck drove the team 59 yards in just 27 seconds to get into field goal range before halftime. The Colts were down 14-24 at the time, and a field goal would have put them within one score. Unfortunately, Adam Vinatieri missed the 37-yard field goal, and the Bears would take control in the second half to win the game decisively.

But, after that, the Colts would go on similar drives in game after game, as the rookie quarterback continued to impress in critical situations.

To recall, here are all of the drives that Luck led successfully after getting the ball after the two-minute warning.

 

 

 

 

Edit: There was another drive during Week 2 (TD to Reggie Wayne before halftime) not included in the above tweets, making 11 total drives for Luck and the Colts. 

On first look, this seems incredibly impressive for a rookie quarterback. Outside of Weeks 5-7, the Colts were getting a successful last-minute drive in just about every game.

So, I decided to look into it.

I limited my search to drives that started inside of two minutes left in each half and ended in either a touchdown or field goal attempt. If a quarterback gets a team into field goal range, after all, it’s not a fault of the offense if the field goal is missed or blocked.

What I found was a little more impressive than I expected.

Not only was Andrew Luck the only rookie quarterback since 2000 to lead 10 successful sub-two-minute drives in one season, but he’s one of just two quarterbacks (rookie or veteran) since 2000 to lead at least 10 successful sub-two-minute drives in one season.

Only Eli Manning, who led 12 during 2012, has ever led more than Luck.

Meanwhile, the Colts’ sub-two-minute drives were, on average, longer (58.3 vs. 55.5  yards) and quicker (54 sec. vs. 1 min.) than the Giants. The Colts also were usually behind (by 3.6 pts) while the Giants were generally ahead when the successful drives occured (by 3.5 pts).

Now, none of that means the Colts’ drives were inherently better than the Giants’, but it’s interesting regardless.

Nevertheless, the fact is that Luck is one of two quarterbacks since 2000 to lead 10 successful drives inside of two minutes. That’s impressive for anybody, much less a rookie with a sieve of an offensive line and inexperienced weapons.

Note: I’ll go a little deeper into those numbers as well as looking closer at the Colts’ sub-two-minute drives later this week as well. 

Kyle J. Rodriguez

About Kyle J. Rodriguez

A film and numbers guru, Kyle writes about the NFL and the Indianapolis Colts for Bleacher Report, Draft Mecca and The Football Educator, and is a co-founder and associate editor of Colts Authority. Kyle also is a high school sports reporter for the MLive Media Group in Michigan, covering high school sports across the state.

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