New York: Rookie quarterback and overall No. 1 draft pick Andrew Luck continued his good form as Indianapolis Colts cruised to a 27-10 away win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday to record their fourth straight victory of the NFL season.
Luck threw 18/26 for 227 yards and rushed for two touchdowns to help the Colts to a 6-3 record, leaving them on track for an unlikely play-off position just over halfway through the NFL season.
Sporting a cleanly shaven head along with the rest of his teammates in support of head coach Chuck Pagano who is battling leukemia, Luck showed the poise and confidence of a veteran despite being just nine games into his pro career.
“He’s been great,” veteran wide receiver Reggie Wayne said of Luck.
“He has come in and done an outstanding job and I’m just glad I’m on his side.
“He’s been able to do things I’m not used to. He’s been able to use his legs to get out of the pocket and extend plays and I think he throws better when he is on the run.”
Wayne, who played 11 seasons at Indianapolis with Peyton Manning at the helm, including winning a Superbowl in the 2006-2007 season, stopped short of a comparison.
“I wouldn’t compare the two,” he said.
“I want him to get his own legacy, I want him to start his own transition and I just want to help him be the best he can. I just want to keep winning games with him.”
Luck, at 23, is on track to be a rare rookie starting quarterback in the playoffs but he isn’t getting ahead of himself.
“In the locker room we have a lot of confidence in ourselves,” Luck said.
“We are preparing to win football games, we don’t prepare to lose them and it’s great to be where we are but we also realise while we’re on the right path it is nowhere near the end goal.”
Wayne is also trying to keep a lid on expectations but acknowledged the fairytale of a team a year off a 2-14 season, with a rookie quarterback and an interim coach making the playoffs was in reach.
“We’re just trying to keep the same intensity each week because we know if we keep winning games, we’re going to make it,” said the 33-year-old veteran.
The season continues to be a nightmare for the Jaguars, who fell to 1-8 with the loss, their sixth straight.
They looked unable to score points until back up quarterback Chad Henne created a long drive in the fourth quarter.
Starting quarterback Blaine Gabbert left the field with a shoulder complaint in the final quarter and was left to watch the end of the match from the sidelines.