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Andrew Luck sets rookie passing records as Colts clinch spot in AFC playoffs

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Andrew Luck broke Cam Newton's rookie passing yardage record (Getty Images)

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck continued to prove that the passer rating statistic is not all it's cracked up to be. The No. 1 overall pick of the 2012 NFL Draft completed less than 50 percent of his 35 pass attempts on Sunday, but did not turn the ball over as he threw for 205 yards and hit Reggie Wayne for what turned out to be a game-winning, seven-yard touchdown with under five minutes to play on Sunday.

With the 20-13 win over the Kansas City Chiefs, the Colts improved to 10-5 and clinched a spot in the AFC playoffs. The Colts are currently the No. 5 seed and will likely have to wait another week to find out who their wild card opponent will be. When the Colts begin preparations for their Week 17 game against the Houston Texans, they'll do so with head coach Chuck Pagano. According to Jeff Darlington of NFL.com, Pagano will make his return after missing the last three months while undergoing treatment for leukemia.

The Colts have now won 10 or more games and will appear in the playoffs for the 12th time in the last 14 seasons. A streak of nine consecutive playoff appearances was snapped during the 2011 season when the club lost Peyton Manning to neck surgery. Their 2-14 record without Manning allowed the franchise to land the No. 1 overall pick and select Luck.

Through 15 games this season, Luck has completed 54.3 percent of his pass attempts and has 21 touchdowns against 18 interceptions, resulting in a passer rating of just 75.6. With 35 attempts on Sunday, Luck set an NFL rookie record with 599 pass attempts, breaking the previous mark of 590 set in 2010 by Sam Bradford of the St. Louis Rams. In the final minute of the first half on Sunday, Luck hit rookie T.Y. Hilton for a 23-yard gain that pushed him ahead of the previous rookie passing yardage mark (4,051) that was set last season by Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.

Even with the rookie passing records and leading his team to a playoff berth, Luck could finish third in the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year balloting. Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin, the No. 2 overall pick in the draft, has passed for 3,100 yards with 20 touchdowns and just five interceptions for a passer rating of 104.1, adding 752 yards and six touchdowns with his legs. Seattle Seahawks third round quarterback Russell Wilson enters Sunday night's action with 2,697 passing yards, 21 touchdowns (and nine interceptions) with 402 yards and three touchdowns rushing for a team that could clinch a playoff spot and remain alive for an NFC West title with a win over the San Francisco 49ers Sunday night.

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