By: Herman Moore
Ford Lions Report Live Analyst
Lions need to rebound
Getting torched by a rookie quarterback would essentially be a smack in the Detroit Lions' face after what transpired during Thanksgiving's 34-31, tragedy of an overtime loss to the Houston Texans.
This Sunday, if Detroit (4-7) wants to avoid ultimate embarrassment and an eighth loss, it has to limit Indianapolis Colt star rookie signal-caller Andrew Luck, a former Heisman finalist and Stanford football prodigy.
The Colts (7-4) are very much in the playoff picture after winning five of their past six, a feat aided by Luck's rocket arm. Another win would help the Colts chase an AFC Wild Card since it's highly unlikely that the Texans will relinquish control of the AFC South.
It's Lucks first year, but he's dangerous.
Despite a relatively impressive track record against rookie quarterbacks, the Lions can't enter Sunday thinking they're just facing a "rookie" in Luck -- that just wouldn't bring about good fortune.
Big arm--no "luck" there
Luck aerially attacked for 433 yards during Indianapolis' 23-20 overtime victory against the Miami Dolphins, and he threw for 362 earlier this year during a 30-27 edging of the Green Bay Packers.
The kid can get it done, and Detroit's inconsistent secondary has to find ways to keep him from launching the deep ball.
Luck is No. 1 in the NFL when it comes to completing passes for 20 or more yards, touting 49 connections that tie him with – and wait for it, because it's only fitting – former Colts Super Bowl-winner and sure Hall of Famer, Peyton Manning, who undoubtedly hopes to lead his new team, the Denver Broncos, to a Super Bowl title this season.
Past rookies have hardly won, but don't let that fool you
Seattle Seahawks rookie Russell Wilson nearly toppled the Lions in Week 8, but fell 28-24, despite a 16-yard touchdown pass to Zach Miller with just over five minutes to play in the fourth quarter.
The Seahawks held a slim lead in the second half, but a pair of touchdowns from Matthew Stafford aided Detroit's comeback.
Had Wilson not given Detroit time to retaliate, his Week 8 loss could have been a satisfying, heroic, late-game triumph and quite a smudge on the Lions' 2012 resume.
Even former Auburn star and Heisman winner Cam Newton couldn't use his "Superman" firepower to pacify Detroit.
Now in his second with the Carolina Panthers, Newton threw for 280 yards during a 49-35 loss to the Lions in 2011.... He also threw four interceptions.
Picks happen to be Luck's downfall this year (13 TD, 13 INT), and that may bode well for Detroit considering how it took advantage of Newton's flaws last season.
However, Luck is seventh in the league with 3,205 passing yards and averages 291 yards per game.
Minus the three he threw in a 59-24 trouncing courtesy of the New England Patriots two weeks ago, Luck has thrown just three interceptions since Oct. 21, a stretch in which he's posted a 5-1 record.
He's hardly a player to overlook, even if he's "just a rookie."
Herman Moore joins Tom Leyden and Rob Rubick on the Ford Lions Report Live every Sunday at 11am throughout the season. You can follow Herman on Twitter @HMAN84