Andrew Luck went over 300 yards for the seventh consecutive game, leading the Indianapolis Colts to a 40-24 victory over the New York Giants on Monday night. Our takeaways:
- Luck already has a career-high 26 touchdowns entering the Week 10 bye. Just the fourth quarterback in history with 3,000 passing yards over the first nine games of the season, he's now on pace to break Peyton Manning's single-season record for passing yards. He's three games shy of breaking Drew Brees' record for the most consecutive 300-yard games. For all of the gaudy numbers, Luck's performance in a rout over the Giants wasn't remarkable by his own standards. As is often the case, he missed a handful of easy passes and pulled off even more throws that most quarterbacks can't make -- and won't even attempt. He continues to show precociousness in pocket presence and decision-making. Rather than nitpick his mistakes, we prefer to point out that Luck is carrying an offense that ranks first in yards and points per game. That résumé on a first-place team puts Luck in the MVP picture along with old standbys Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady.
- The Week 8 game in which the Colts surrendered a franchise-record 639 total yards to the Steelers stands out as an aberration over the last seven weeks. It's no coincidence that cornerback Vontae Davis missed the majority of that game with a knee injury. One of the most valuable press-man corners in the league, Davis stifled Rueben Randle on Monday night. His reliable presence allows the Colts to take more chances up front. The final score in this game is misleading. Up 40-10 in the fourth quarter, Indianapolis eased up in garbage time.
- A disappointment as a 2009 first-round draft pick in Denver, defensive end Robert Ayers has emerged as a top-notch pass rusher with the Giants. He had six hits on Luck on Monday night, adding a few more pressures in a blitz-heavy scheme from Perry Fewell. Ayers was the best player on the field for the Giants on Monday.
- Plagued by drops and overthrows, the Giants' offense was dysfunctional for most of the night. Peyton Hillis was leading in rushing and receiving at halftime, as an underwhelming Eli Manning got little help from his surrounding talent. Rookie Odell Beckham was the lone bright spot, showing world-class athleticism. Even if his route running is raw, we would like to see preseason star Corey Washington begin to eat into Preston Parker's snaps as the No. 3 receiver.
- The Colts took a 10-0 lead early in the second quarter when Luck rushed to the line of scrimmage and hit Coby Fleener for a 32-yard touchdown as New York coach Tom Coughlin was reaching for the red flag to challenge a 21-yard catch by Fleener on the previous play. The Giants never got back in the game from there.
- The Giants' secondary is growing perilously thin. Prince Amukamaratore his biceps early in Monday's game. The defensive backfield had already lost Trumaine McBride and Walter Thurmond for the season.
- Perhaps it was because he was facing his former team, but Hakeem Nicks received a lot more playing time than Donte Moncrief despite the rookie's 113-yard performance last week. Nick's third-down drop aborted the Colts' first possession. The bye week is a perfect time to move Moncrief ahead of Nicks in the pecking order.
- Rookie Jonathan Newsome took advantage of starting outside linebacker Erik Walden's absence, showing playmaking ability with a pair of sacks and a forced fumble. The Colts might hesitate to take the fifth-round draft pick out of the lineup upon Walden's healthy return.
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