Nobody said it would be easy for Andrew Luck.
But after battling the turnover bug and squeezing every last inch out of his powerful offensive line (and Adam Vinatieri's 100-year-old leg), the Colts are going back to the postseason, and Luck is going home a hero.
Indy will be making their first playoff appearance since the 2014 AFC Championship Game at New England, the contest that started Ryan Grigson's Deflategate quest rolling. Sure, Luck was at the helm then, too, but that was an entirely different man with an all-natural shoulder.
Now, he's battled the elements, wear-and-tear, and opposing game plans to mature into an entirely different signal-caller, and he's the leader of the gelling team that nobody wants to face heading into January. First up on the Luck Revenge Tour? An in-division battle with Deshaun Watson and the Houston Texans, another face of the franchise who's battled back from a significant injury along the way, too.
This 33-17 win didn't really test Luck much, though a goal-line pick-six halved the lead in the second quarter, nearly leading to calamity after a three-and-out. However, the Titans then fumbled the kickoff, muddying the play that followed (Indy fumbled the ball, too), as everything got out of whack as the skies opened up.
The second half was all Luck, and his response to Tennessee's well-thought-out drive that cut the lead to 24-17 proved his mettle once again, as if he needed more ammunition.
If he wins in the opening week against Houston, he'll head to Kansas City, a team he's had quite a bit of playoff success against. If he wins that, then comes New England.
Fire up the revenge truck for Luck.