NFL: Colts 23, Dolphins 20
INDIANAPOLIS • Andrew Luck and Ryan Tannehill put on a memorable show for Chuck Pagano on Sunday.
The rookie quarterbacks traded jab for jab, hook for hook and TD pass for TD pass. When the duel finally ended, it was Luck who had the records and another win for his ailing coach.
Luck threw for 433 yards and two TD passes, breaking Cam Newton's single-game passing record (422 yards) for a rookie as he led the Colts to a 23-20 victory over Miami.
The matchup was everything people expected from the two first-round draft picks, who had gotten their teams off to surprising starts.
And this one will go down as yet another memorable chapter in Indy's bittersweet season.
Pagano, the Colts coach who had been watching the games on television since Sept. 26 after being diagnosed with a form of leukemia, walked into the coaches' box about 5 minutes before kickoff and after speaking to the team.
Luck took the cue, throwing for 273 yards in the first half the fourth highest first-half total in franchise history and it didn't take much longer for the No. 1 overall draft pick to join Peyton Manning as the only players in league history with four 300-yard games in their rookie seasons.
Luck finished 30 of 48 and made big play after big play for the Colts (5-3), who have won three straight and are 4-1 at home.
Tannehill was just as impressive despite not being 100 percent. He was questionable all week with left knee and thigh injuries, was limited in practice and wasn't picked as the starter until about 90 minutes before kickoff. He wound up going 22 of 38 for 290 yards with one touchdown.
But it wasn't quite enough to prevent Miami (4-4) from losing for the first time in four games.
The difference: Luck made bigger plays.
He continually escaped pressure, hooked up on long throws, converted third downs and made two uncanny TD passes a 9-yard throw to Reggie Wayne, who made a beautiful toe-tap in the back of the end zone in the first quarter and a 36-yard scoring pass into double coverage that rookie T.Y. Hilton hauled in with a terrific leaping catch to give Indy a 20-17 lead late in the third quarter.
Miami tied the score at 20 when Dan Carpenter made a 31-yard field goal with 13:12 to go, but Luck led the Colts on a 13-play, 69-yard drive to set up Adam Vinatieri for the decisive 43-yard field goal with 6:03 to go.
The Dolphins got the ball back two more times, but never got into scoring position and Luck ran out the clock.