There was one important reason Colts interim coach Bruce Arians wasn’t panicking about Andrew Luck’s performance in New England last night.
“It was a lot better than the first day Peyton Manning came up here,” Arians said, via Mike Garafolo of USA Today. “I was here that day.”
He was referring to Manning’s three-interception game in his first trip to Foxboro. Luck matched that, with two picks returned for touchdowns, and added a fumble which led to a Patriots touchdown.
“I think they were the right reads. Just some high balls, a ball behind a guy,” Luck said, the last part of that statement a reference to his throw behind Reggie Wayne that Dennard picked off. “(The Patriots) are good enough. They don’t need those gifts, per se. But to their credit, they created those and we didn’t. Such is the game.”
Arians said he was impressed by the way Luck “was mad at himself” for the mistakes, which was evident by slamming a helmet and other acts of frustration, particularly after the second pick.
“That’s the beauty of him,” Arians said. “He’ll come off the field and tell you exactly what he’s thinking and we don’t hide anything between each other.”
Luck’s impressed with his maturity, which is much of the reason the Colts are off to a 6-4 start.
But learning to deal with the downs, as well as the ups, will be crucial as he pilots the Colts through a period in which they don’t have the horses to compete with an on-their-game Patriots team.