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Andrew Luck's record day excites Indianapolis Colts

INDIANAPOLIS -- Sunday's game between the Miami Dolphins and Indianapolis Colts was billed as a showdown between two rookie quarterbacks who have accelerated the rebuilding process in their respective cities.

Most single-game passing yards by an NFL rookie
Year Player, Team Yards
2012 Andrew Luck, Colts 433
2011 Cam Newton, Panthers 432
2012 Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins 431
2011 Cam Newton, Panthers 422
2009 Matthew Stafford, Lions 422
2006 Matt Leinart, Cardinals 405

It turned into the Andrew Luck Show.

The Colts pulled out a 23-20 victory over the Dolphins, and while Ryan Tannehill played well, Luck's performance was unprecedented for a first-year pro. He threw for 433 yards -- an NFL single-game rookie record -- and also finished with two touchdowns and a 105.6 passer rating. Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton's stamp on the rookie passing record lasted all of one season.

"It was Pro Bowl-caliber play," Colts interim coach Bruce Arians said.

Luck did everything a coach could ask from his quarterback. He converted third downs. He avoided sacks. He pushed the ball downfield. He checked down when necessary. The numbers would have been even more gaudy if two clear TD passes hadn't been dropped.

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"We knew we'd have to disrupt him a little bit," Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said of Luck. "... When you're playing against him, that's a thing that's absolutely critical, keeping him in the pocket, and he made a couple of throws on the run. Again, we weren't detailed enough and disciplined enough in some of our rush lanes. That wasn't the whole problem, and obviously, sometimes we didn't get there fast enough."

Luck broke the NFL rookie record with a 2-yard chest pass to Dwyane Allen with a Dolphins defender draped all over him. Earlier in the game, Luck threw a perfect 48-yard strike to Donnie Avery despite the receiver being tightly double covered.

It was the type of game that drives opponents mad. The Dolphins pressed the pocket, but Luck wouldn't go down. He completed passes into double coverage and made a habit of finding receivers in tight coverage.

"Playing the quarterback position, stuff doesn't always go right with the protection, and you've got to make a play with your feet or get the ball out," Luck said. "Part of being a quarterback is having to adjust. If you could tell a quarterback he was going to have a clean pocket and not be hit once during the game, wouldn't that be the life? It's not, so you deal with it."

The Luck vs. Robert Griffin III debate will last long beyond 2012. But there is no chance that anyone in the Colts' organization wishes they could hit the redo button and select RG3 No. 1 overall. Luck is destined to be one of the NFL's top quarterbacks for a long time.

"That kid just continues to amaze," Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne said. "He has a really bright, bright future. Hopefully I can help add on to this legacy that he's about to build."

Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.

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