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Anything possible for Colts with Andrew Luck involved

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While the Bengals privately wonder if they've hitched themselves to the wrong wagon, the Colts rest easy knowing they'll remain in excellent hands for years to come.

Andrew Luck didn't put up the best numbers of his career in Sunday's 26-10 Wild Card win over the Bengals, and he didn't deliver a legendary performance like he did in the Wild Card round against the Chiefs last January. But Luck was dominant in a more subtle way, connecting on several ridiculous downfield passes and repeatedly checking down at the right times to Dan Herron (10 catches for 85 yards).

Luck's sole touchdown pass -- a gorgeous 36-yard strike to Donte Moncrief in the third quarter -- was a thing of beauty. Luck evaded the rush, climbed the pocket, spotted the open man and fired a perfect pass as he was being tripped up.

Luck has taken as much punishment as any quarterback in the past three seasons, but he always, always, always keeps his eyes down field. This was a textbook example.

"The one magical play to Moncrief was Andrew at his finest," Colts coach Chuck Pagano said. "He's a maestro back there, he's unbelievable. He made great decisions today and he made them all day long. It was a great game for him."

Now Luck gets another shot at the Broncos, the team that beat Indy in the season opener. This is a flawed Colts team, and beating the undermanned and underwhelming Bengals doesn't eliminate the possibility the Colts can't hang with the big boys. But Luck remains an X-factor who gives Indy a very real chance of getting back to the AFC Championship Game for the first time since 2009.

It's pretty remarkable when you think about it. The Colts were gifted with the greatness of Peyton Manning for 14 years, then, one neck injury and a 2-14 later, the next Peyton Manning drops into their lap. The good fortune is downright remarkable.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast recaps every Wild Card game and looks ahead to the Divisional Round. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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