Colts Beat Broncos, Face Pats On Sunday For AFC Championship
Andrew Luck has his signature NFL win, and it came against his predecessor, of all people.
Hardly pressured all afternoon, Luck threw two touchdown passes and outplayed Peyton Manning in leading the Indianapolis Colts past the Denver Broncos 24-13 Sunday.
The Colts (13-5) advanced to the AFC championship game at New England (13-4), where they lost 42-20 on Nov. 16.
"I'd like to think I am a better quarterback and would like to think we're a better team" now, Luck said. "We are well equipped to handle the unknown, the unforeseen."
They sure were Sunday night in the Rockies, where Denver had gone 8-0 this season and averaged 35 points a game.
"I think we're playing good team ball," said Luck, who improved to 3-2 in the playoffs with his first road win. "We're feeding off each other. Offensively we're making enough plays to put some points on the board. Great night. So proud to be a part of the Colts in this victory."
The Broncos (12-5) are left to deal with the hangover of yet another playoff debacle - and, more importantly, questions about Manning's future.
After saying on Christmas Eve that he planned on coming back for an 18th season, the five-time MVP wasn't so certain after his latest playoff fiasco.
Asked point blank if he planned on playing next season, Manning said, "Uh, yeah, I guess I just can't give that simple answer, I'm processing it. So, I can't say that. I could not say that."
It was the first time Manning had been ambiguous about his future since spinal fusion surgery on his neck cost him all of the 2011 season and led Colts owner Jim Irsay to release him in 2012 so he could use the top pick to draft Luck.