INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – At the risk of overreacting, Andrew Luck had seen better days, or evenings, at Lucas Oil Stadium.
In his first home appearance in 596 days, the Indianapolis Colts $140 million quarterback struggled to find anything resembling continuity against the Baltimore Ravens’ swarming defense on Monday’s prime-time stage.
In fact, Luck got little accomplished outside of stirring up a sparse crowd when he trotted out onto his home field for the first time since Jan. 1, 2017. His final tally: five series, 24 plays, 6-of-13 passing for 50 yards with one interception, two sacks and a 24.5 passer rating.
Four of Luck’s five series were three-and-outs, and the final two ended when the Ravens’ vaunted pass rush got to him for sacks; first by Terrell Suggs and next by Za’Darius Smith. A first-quarter possession began at the Baltimore 14, but ended when Luck forced the issue and paid the price.
On third-and-7 at the 11, he felt pressure and rolled to his right. On the run, he forced a pass in the direction of either running back Christine Michael of tight end Jack Doyle. Ravens defensive back Anthony Levin Sr. tipped the ball, then secured it for an interception.
Luck has been adamant about “checking boxes’’ during the preseason. He’ll check one that says: Don’t force a pass in the red zone.
The only drive that generated anything was Luck’s third. He drove the Colts 48 yards in 12 plays, but even then had to settle for Adam Vinatieri’s 57-yard field goal.
Complicating Luck’s evening was a depleted supporting cast. Pro Bowl wideout missed the game with a sprained left shoulder and injuries also sidelined top running backs Marlon Mack (hamstring) and Robert Turbin (ankle).
Even so, Luck will have plenty to work on this week leading up to Saturday afternoon’s preseason game with the San Francisco 49ers at Lucas Oil Stadium.
In two preseason games, Luck has directed seven series and been on the field for 43 offensive snaps. The bottom line: three Vinatieri field goals. He’s completed 12 of 22 passes for 114 yards with one interception and three sacks.