Back in March, I was roundly dismissed for suggesting that Andrew Luck could someday be better than He Who Must Not Be Named (aka Peyton Manning), the former legend who redefined the quarterback position while playing for the Indianapolis Colts. After yesterday's record-setting, playoff-clinching performance, it can now be said definitively: Andrew Luck IS better than Manning as a rookie.
I know, what you're thinking. What about all the picks and the low completion percentage? Your memories are short. Manning threw 28 picks his rookie season. Luck will have to throw 10 balls to Texans' defenders next Sunday to equal that mark. And while Manning blossomed into one of the league's most accurate passers, his rookie season he only completed 56.7 per cent of this throws. Luck has completed 54.3 per cent of his passes thus far and has already thrown 24 more passes than Manning did.
That's because Manning had the benefit of having a Hall of Famer in Marshall Faulk in the backfield with him and a line didn't have to wear nametags so the coaches could identify them. Luck probably won't throw for the 26 touchdowns Manning did (he has 21), but yesterday he surpassed Cam Newton's rookie yardage record in just 15 games. Whose record did Newton break a year ago? That's right, Manning's.
Of course, the most important stat is the W's. Andrew has 10 of those in his belt in 15 times to the post. Manning recorded only three in his rookie campaign with arguably a better supporting cast. Luck has his team headed to the post-season while Manning had the Colts primed for the number four draft pick after his rookie season.
Back in March, I wrote this, which turned out to be prophetic:
"What can't be measured is how many explosive plays Luck allowed to develop with his feet. How many times during the course of Luck's career did his ability to elude a sack allow a play to open up for a completion? That's one skill we've seen of Super Bowl winning quarterbacks like Ben Roethlisberger and Aaron Rodgers: the ability to keep a play alive. Manning never had that.
Tags: Adrian Peterson, Andrew Luck, Cincinnati Bengals, Football, Indianapolis, Indianapolis Colts, New York Giants, NFL, Peyton Manning