Obviously, Andrew Luck's self-awarded C grade stands for "Clutch". Then again, Indianapolis' entire campaign has stood for "Chuckstrong".
With 5:58 remaining in Sunday's game, the Colts (5-3) capped off a 13-play series with an Adam Vinatieri 43-yard field goal to claim a 23-20 lead over the Miami Dolphins (4-4). In this shockingly significant battle between two potential playoff players - the worst team of 2011 versus a predestined bottom feeder of 2012, that would prove to be the ultimate score.
Luck (30-of-48, 433 yards, 2 touchdowns) surpassed Cam Newton's year-old rookie record for passing yards in a single game by one yard, and he actually secured the victory.
His four game-winning drives this season equals the combined total of the other four rookie starters (Robert Griffin III, Brandon Weeden, Russell Wilson, and opponent Ryan Tannehill) in the NFL, and is one shy of tying marks left by Ben Roethlisberger and Vince Young since the merger. He has four performances of 300 yards or more thus far, already matching the legendary quarterback he legendarily replaced.
The man out of Stanford is additionally tied with Peyton Manning for third in the league with 2,404 passing yards, and that's the most a rookie has thrown for through his inaugural eight contests. He's ascertaining that yardage both from inside and outside the pocket, and he's pairing it with wins.
How about now? If you're still not satisfied, you are not alone - neither is Luck, which is what's most impressive.
Of course, his body of work has done nothing short of inspiring Head Coach Chuck Pagano, and vice versa. Pagano was in attendance after taking a leave of absence in September to treat his diagnosis of leukemia, and witnessed all 13 plays of Luck's go-ahead drive to victory, as "it's already beat."
On 3rd-and-11 from their own 5 (after a negative pass play to Dwayne Allen and a Delone Carter rush stuffed for no gain), Luck converted with a 20-yard completion to Allen. He connected with his tight end again two plays later (with a three-yard run from Vick Ballard sandwiched in the middle of them) for an additional 20 yards.
Allen, a rookie from Clemson who slided into the third round, validated the Colts' decision to select two tight ends back-to-back early in the Draft. Stepping in for the injured Coby Fleener, fellow rookie and collegiate teammate of Luck, Allen racked up six catches for 75 yards.
Once both men are healthy and comfortably on the field together, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez should be given a shirts-vs-skins run for their money.
Following an incompletion intended deep for LaVon Brazill, Indianapolis mustered seven yards to T.Y. Hilton and then six yards to Reggie Wayne, consecutively. It was Luck's best day by far in regards to third down efficiency (13-of-16, 204 yards, 1 touchdown), showcasing his poise, resiliency, and big-play ability.
Luck, moreover, cherishes the reciprocated faith he restores in his receivers, young and old. Hilton (6 receptions, 102 yards, 1 touchdown) - as you might have guessed, another rookie - dropped a potential touchdown twice throughout the game, and yet his field general continually looked for him, as he led the receiving corps with 11 targets.
Veteran stalwart Wayne (7 receptions, 78 yards, and the other receiving score) is simply enjoying the ride during his "comeback" tour.
An offense suddenly loaded with aerial weaponry was later complimented by a first-down 10-yard ground gain up the middle and to Miami's 29, courtesy of Ballard - the same guy who produced the overtime leap a week ago and the 19-yard power burst to ice this game with less than a minute to go.
The running-back-by-committee (minus Donald Brown in this case) only managed 97 yards, and must proceed to progress at the same accelerated rate as Luck if Indy wishes to procure a wild card.
The drive stalled from there on out, leaving it all on the foot of cool-as-the-other-side-of-Stuart-Scott's-pillow Vinatieri. The once-New England Patriots star hasn't been quite as Automatic in the fade of his career, as he's already missed six of his 22 kicks this season, but he was able to improve to 5-of-6 in the fourth quarter, and there's no other placekicker the Colts would rather have.
Much like Tom Brady, Vinatieri and everyone else in Indianapolis are huge fans of their No. 12, as well.
For every tragic hurricane or prognosis of cancer, there are relief efforts, survivors, and resulting unity above all. The Indianapolis Colts are one sports story currently epitomizing the reminder of a beneficially positive outlook - vision rather than circumstances.
It is unfortunate for Tannehill (22-of-38, 290 yards, and a touchdown himself) and a Miami Dolphins squad that did not play poorly. In their division and conference, they can still easily reach the postseason at 8-8.
This day was just predestined to be about the ascending bottom feeders from 2011.
Play catch up on all of this season's Drives to Victory:
Preseason Week 4
Preseason Week 3
Preseason Week 2
Preseason Week 1
Hall of Fame Game