Then Luck flipped the switch.
Defensive lineman Cory Redding, who lowered his head and prayed instead of watching the final play, added Luck is "truly doing some unbelievable things right now."
The Colts faced fourth-and-10 from the Lions' 14 with three seconds left when Luck took the final snap. The Lions dropped seven defenders behind the goal line, and the Colts sent everyone to the end zone except Avery, who ran a drag route underneath. No one followed Avery, who was the fifth option, and Luck hit him in the right flat for the touchdown.
"(It's) not all on yourself, then worse things start happening," Luck said. "There is somewhat of an onus when you throw two, three picks and miss open guys.
"You're thankful just to have a chance to go back out there to try to win the game."
Luck's 391 yards were the second-most of his young NFL career and his sixth 300-yard game. His performance in the comeback win keeps him in the Rookie of the Year discussion. The win also keeps the Colts in playoff contention.
That's the one thing about the 2012 Colts: They don't become timid in the face of adversity. They're 7-1 in one-possession games.
"Some teams find a way to win, others don't." Arians said. "Ours do."