The hit Packers linebacker Nick Perry put on Andrew Luck might be the hardest hit an NFL quarterback takes this season.
The most impressive thing happened after the play, when the Colts rookie quarterback bounced right back up, and then went on to have a game that will be instantly added to his already growing legend.
Luck led the Colts to a dramatic win over the Packers in the final minute, making every clutch play he needed to make down the stretch.
Luck had already proved his NFL ability through Indianapolis' first three games, and he proved his toughness with one play in the second quarter on Sunday. Packers rookie Perry, a fellow first-round pick who is 6-3, 265 pounds, came unblocked from Luck's right side. Luck never saw Perry coming, one of the most dangerous situations an NFL quarterback can face.
Perry planted his helmet into Luck's chest, giving Luck a scary whiplash effect before he went down. Perry also drew a penalty on the play. From the impact of the hit, it would have not been surprising if Luck was done for the day. Instead, he got up like nothing happened, impressing and relieving the Colts all at once.
Luck has already showed he is capable of being a star in the NFL, and what he did Sunday should erase any lingering doubts. He took a beating from the Packers, who knocked him down often. The Colts trailed 21-3 at halftime, but Luck dragged the Colts back in the game. His 3-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter pulled Indianapolis within two points, and he later led the Colts on a field-goal drive to take the lead.
After Aaron Rodgers threw a touchdown pass to give the Packers a 27-22 lead, Luck was great on the ensuing, game-winning drive. His best play came on third-and-12, when he wrestled free of what seemed like a sure sack to hit Reggie Wayne for a 15-yard catch. On third-and-7 later in the drive, he ran for the first down, putting his head down to get the final couple yards to the Green Bay 3-yard line.
Luck got the ball to Wayne again near the goal line and Wayne did the rest, stretching the ball across the plane for a go-ahead score with 35 seconds left. When Mason Crosby badly hooked a field-goal attempt with three seconds left, a team that was in danger of going winless last season had defeated a team that almost went undefeated in the regular season last year.
Luck went 31 of 55 for 362 yards and had two passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown. He's doing a pretty good job living up to all his hype.
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