NORMAN — Andrew Luck’s first working trip to New York didn’t exactly go to plan, though some punishing defense by the Jets had a lot to do with that. All part of the learning curve for rookies, who sometimes have difficulty understanding that big second-half comebacks can’t be pulled off every week in the NFL.
The leap from college was never going to be without some setbacks, even for a quarterback with Stanford smarts and a receiver like Reggie Wayne. In the Meadowlands on Sunday that wasn’t nearly enough as Luck’s rookie touchdown streak ended in a 35-9 romp by the Jets that showed the quarterback and the Indianapolis Colts are still a work in progress.
Dampening expectations in Indianapolis isn’t such a bad idea because entire football teams can’t be overhauled overnight. It was easy to forget in the wake of last week’s thrilling comeback win over Green Bay that this was a team that was well on its way to a winless season last year before rallying to win two of its last three games.
Still, five games into his ascendant career, Luck has already shown that the Colts made the right — if extremely painful — decision to let Peyton Manning find work elsewhere. Barring injuries, Luck is going to be a very good quarterback for a very long time, which is not something that can be assumed for either of the top two quarterbacks for the Jets.
“I’m glad we play him this year and not two years from now,” Jets coach Rex Ryan said. “He’s got all the talent in the world.”
So does Robert Griffin III, who returned from a concussion Sunday to play for the Washington Redskins against the surprising Minnesota Vikings. Griffin might have learned a few things himself last week, especially about the career longevity of NFL quarterbacks who wait a half-second too long to go into a slide or get out of bounds.