In the 2011 season opener, Panthers quarterback Cam Newton threw for 422 yards, surpassing Peyton Manning's rookie single-game passing record.
One year later, Manning's successor in Indianapolis has outdone them both.
In the Colts' 23-20 win over the Dolphins on Sunday, Andrew Luck completed 30-of-48 passes for 433 yards and two touchdowns, as he enters the NFL record books.
With coach Chuck Pagano in the building, Luck was simply masterful, hanging tough in the pocket against a stout Miami defense and making throws other rookies would not dare to attempt. He picked apart the Dolphins' overmatched secondary, getting fellow first-year players T.Y. Hilton (6 catches for 102 yards and 1 TD) and Dwayne Allen (6 for 75) involved throughout the afternoon.
The Colts are now 5-3 and very much in the thick of the playoff race, thanks in large part to Luck, who appears wise beyond his 23 years. If the early returns are indicative of the future, Luck should enjoy a long, prosperous...