NFLLuck leads Colts to 3 scores in pre-season debut vs. Rams
Andrew Luck, just like Peyton Manning before him, threw a touchdown pass on his first play as an Indianapolis Colt. That's what they call a good start. Luck hit a little dump pass to running back Donald Brown, and Brown turned on the afterburners to take it 63 yards for a touchdown in the Colts' first offensive play in a 38-3 win over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday in Indianapolis.
It was the perfect start to a near-perfect day for Luck, who finished with 188 yards passing and two touchdowns.
"To get a win, get in the game and put some drives together is great," Luck said. "But I realize, and the guys in the locker room realize, it's a pre-season game and things will be different as the season goes along."
In Manning's pre-season debut in 1998, he threw a short slant pass to Marvin Harrison that went 48 yards for a touchdown. Manning has joked many times since that he thought it would always be that easy. Luck found out quickly that it might not be so easy every time. Almost every time? That's open for debate.
On the Colts' second series, Luck was rushed quickly and hit after a short incompletion to Reggie Wayne and then had to scramble for a nine-yard gain on third down. On the Colts' third offensive series, Luck was slammed by Chris Long as he released a pass attempt called back for holding. Luck held his hand up to Long for assistance getting up. Long looked at him and walked away. Welcome to the NFL, rookie.
Luck, unfazed, later connected on a sideline pass to T.Y. Hilton, who made a great leaping catch for a first down. Luck hit Austin Collie for a 23-yard touchdown pass to put the Colts up 14-0 early in the second quarter.
At that point, Luck was 5-for-6 passing for 113 yards and two touchdowns and a perfect 158.3 passer rating.
"I know we picked him up off the turf a couple times, but he's a big, strong, athletic guy and he can take a hit. We don't want him taking too many, but to see him perform the way he did and do the things that he did under pressure, I thought he handled it well," Coach Chuck Pagano said.
On his fourth series, Luck drove the Colts 80 yards in 4:08, with Delone Carter leaping for the score and a 21-3 lead. Despite three pass drops on the series, Luck hit Collie, LaVon Brazill twice and Hilton for big plays, the last one a 32-yarder to the Rams' 1-yard line.
Luck was 10-for-16 for 188 yards, two touchdowns and a 142.7 passer rating.
Dolphins release Johnson after arrest
Six-time Pro Bowl receiver Chad Johnson was released by the Miami Dolphins a day after he was arrested in a domestic battery case involving his wife. Johnson was released from jail on $2,500 bond earlier Sunday after his wife accused him of head-butting her during an argument in front of their home. Johnson was charged with simple domestic battery, a misdemeanor.
■ The Vikings activated running back Adrian Peterson from the physically unable to perform list Sunday, with Coach Leslie Frazier saying Peterson had done everything in his rehab that could be done working by himself. Peterson had major knee surgery on Dec. 31, and Frazier credited Peterson's hard work for the quick return.
■ In need of another running back, the Packers signed veteran Cedric Benson. Benson left Cincinnati after spending four seasons with the Bengals, leading them in rushing each year. The Packers' backfield had a lot of question marks. James Starks is bothered by turf toe, Brandon Saine (hamstring) has not practiced and Alex Green is coming off knee surgery.
Ryu birdies six straight for LPGA win
Even though it had only been a little over a year since her victory in the U.S. Women's Open, So Yeon Ryu was already feeling the pressure to win again. She lapped the field to end the drought Sunday. Ryu rode a string of six straight birdies in the middle of her round to a 9-under 62 and a seven-stroke victory in the Jamie Farr Toledo Classic in Sylvania, Ohio.
"This is just my turning point," she said. "I want to win again."
Ex-Cat Winings third in Web.com event
Chris Wilson won the Price Cutter Charity Championship on Sunday for his first Web.com Tour title, beating Scott Harrington with a birdie on the first hole of a playoff in Springfield, Mo. Wilson, who missed the cuts in 11 of his previous 13 tour starts this year, birdied the final hole of regulation for a 5-under 67 to match Harrington. Former University of Kentucky standout Andy Winings shot a 65 for the second straight day to finish one shot off the lead in third at 20 under. It was his best finish in seven starts on the tour this year.
Napravnik ends 48-race skid at Saratoga
By keeping Stonestreet Stables and Kauai Katie perfect, Rosie Napravnik ended her 0-for-48 slump Sunday in the Grade II Adirondack Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at Saratoga Race Course. The 2-5 favorite led all the way in a 2¾-length victory over Salamera, who made a three-wide move at the top of the stretch but never seriously threatened.
"She's a very talented filly," said Napravnik, who gave leading trainer Todd Pletcher his 13th 2-year-old winner at the meet. "From the gate, I was riding with a lot of confidence because I knew I had a lot of horse under me. ... The sky's the limit for her."
Napravnik got feisty when asked about her extended skid.
"It's always discouraging, especially when people make a comment about it," she said, eliciting a few laughs. "Nobody who's in a slump forgets how to do their job. There's bad luck and good luck involved, and I lost a couple of (head) bobs last week. Hopefully, everybody will keep their mouths shut now."
The last word
Dale Earnhardt Jr. spun late in Sunday's NASCAR race, but that was a mistake of his own making. With six laps to go, he drove too aggressively through the inner loop at the 2.45-mile road course and lost control. Earnhardt, who was running 10th at the time, ended up 28th and fell from first to fourth in the Cup standings. He said:
"I made a mistake there at the end of the race that cost us a lot of spots. I was just over my head. I was way over my head driving at the end there, just driving like a dummy, just driving way too hard."