Andrew Luck’s NFL career is only four games old. Yet already he’s had a prominent role in one of the most historic wins in Indianapolis Colts’ history.
Now, he’s trying to forget about it.
“It’s on to New York. After watching the film, push it out, push it from your mind,” Luck said of the Colts’ collective desire to move on from Sunday’s emotional 30-27 home win against the Green Bay Packers. Up next is a road game against New York Jets (2-2).
Getting the next win, and not basking in the most recent one, is Luck’s focus.
“You can’t look in the rearview mirror,” the rookie quarterback said. “I think the great thing about football is no one cares what you did the week before. It’s all about the next game.
“I think we’ll take that attitude and hopefully continue to get better and realize it’s going to be tough sledding in New York.”
Veteran safety Antoine Bethea insists the Colts (2-2) can approach it no other away.
“We have to. We no choice,” he said. “It was a good, emotional win to be able to finish the first quarter (of the season) off at .500. We have to go to New York in a hostile environment and try to get this winning streak going.”
Indianapolis will try to do it in the wake of a storybook win that was significant on multiple levels.
For example, the Colts were playing for the first time since head coach Chuck Pagano was diagnosed with leukemia. They were hosting a marquee opponent with Super Bowl credentials. And they were attempting to even their record after a disappointing Week 3 home loss against Jacksonville.
All of the above indicated an unfavorable result for the Colts. But the outcome was anything but. The win not only sent shock waves through the NFL, it raised the spirits — and confidence — of a rebuilding team that was in desperate need of positive traction.
Indianapolis gained it by climbing out of a 21-3 halftime hole and winning on a 4-yard touchdown pass from Luck to Reggie Wayne with 35 seconds to play.
“I think it goes down, since I’ve been here, as one of the best games as a team, just coming back from a deficit,” said Bethea, who’s in his seventh season with the Colts. “I think I’ll hold this closer dealing with the circumstances throughout (last) week with Coach Pagano and everything.”
Moving forward, the Colts’ challenge is to keep emotions in check and not let one victory make their season. Outside linebacker Dwight Freeney, who played Sunday for the first time since suffering an ankle injury in the opening minutes of the season-opener, is confident maintaining perspective won’t be a problem.
“We are used to doing that. Well, at least I’m used to doing that,” said Freeney, who’s in his 11th season with the Colts. “We are facing a new opponent, and you have about 24 hours to celebrate, get it out of your system and refocus.
“This is the National Football League. You have a bad play on the field, forget about it and move to the next one.”
Luck, who threw for two touchdowns and ran for another against the Packers, already is moving on.
“It is one game. We realize it is one game, one win. It doesn’t translate into anything else,” he said. “We realize our work is cut out for us this upcoming game against the Jets. We’ll try to build off the positives. I think it is a lot easier to correct your mistakes after a win than maybe a loss.
“I know I made a lot of mistakes (and have) got to get better if we are going to continue to go in the right direction.”