NFL: Colts' Luck rallies after slow start, but Steelers win
Pittsburgh • Unlike his electric preseason debut, Andrew Luck's first pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers didn't result in a touchdown.
His eighth one did. Just not for the Indianapolis Colts.
Standing on the sideline moments after Pittsburgh's Ike Taylor cut in front of an underthrown pass and raced 50 yards for a score, Luck fumed. But only for a second.
Showing the mental toughness the Colts wanted when they tasked him with helping rebuild a franchise on the fly, the rookie rebounded to help Indianapolis take the halftime lead before falling 26-24 on Sunday night. Pittsburgh rookie kicker Danny Hrapmann kicked four second-half field goals, including the 22-yard winner with 23 seconds remaining.
By then the top overall pick was in a baseball cap after completing 16 of 25 passes for 175 yards. He added a 1-yard touchdown run and the Colts (1-1) held their own against a perennial Super Bowl contender.
"You never want to throw any interceptions, even if they are tipped, bobbled, whatever," Luck said. "I've got to cut down on those, but I think showing we can bounce back from those mistakes and kind of climb out of that hole was a good sign."
Luck certainly won over the Steelers (1-1), who let Luck lead the Colts on three second-quarter scoring drives to turn a 14-0 deficit into a 17-14 lead.
"He's a tough kid," said Pittsburgh defensive end Brett Keisel, a former BYU star. "He's a good quarterback. I think he's going to play a long time. [Colts offensive coordinator] Bruce [Arians] is, I'm sure, a happy man."
Even if Luck wasn't particularly thrilled after Taylor sprinted into the end zone to put the Steelers up two touchdowns. Luck didn't expect things to go as easily against the Steelers (No. 7 in the AP Pro32) as they did in a romp over St. Louis last week.
He didn't expect to throw a pair of interceptions either.
"I knew after last week everything wasn't going to be smooth-sailing, you know?" Luck said. "But I think you can learn a lot from mistakes and hopefully not repeating mistakes."
Philadelphia at New England
P Monday, 6 p.m.
TV • ESPN