Ever since the Indianapolis Colts selected quarterback Andrew Luck with the first pick in the 2012 NFL draft, football experts have bent over backwards trying to draw comparisons between Luck and his predecessor, future Hall of Famer and likely 2013 NFL MVP, Peyton Manning. Despite his age and comparative lack of experience, Luck seems to have what it takes to become an elite NFL quarterback. In addition to all the physical tools, he’s got the so called intangibles: poise, leadership, respect of his teammates, both a command and understanding of the game. Basically, he’s Peyton 2.0; but I’m wondering now if the comparisons go even further. Some say Peyton is the best ever to play the game. I won’t argue the point. It is, however, interesting that baby brother Eli has twice as many Super Bowl rings. Is that the only measure of success? Of course not. Dan Marino never won a ring, and the Buffalo Bills are still the only team to advance to the Super Bowl four years in a row. They lost them all. It’s still a hell of an accomplishment. Peyton’s situation is a little different. Despite all the incredible regular season stats, he was 0 for his first 8 in the playoffs and still has a losing post season record. He’ll deny it, but a career of statistics suggest he doesn’t play as well once the temperature starts to dip, which brings us back to Andrew Luck.
It’s a much smaller sample size, but Luck seems to struggle more outdoors, on the road, and in the cold. The Colts were one and done in the playoffs last year. And this year, even though Indianapolis did win a playoff game, it was really only because, unlike those pesky old Bears, it turns out the Chiefs are actually NOT who we thought they were. That victory couldn’t have been more of a gift if Santa delivered it himself. During the 2013 regular season, Luck completed 343 passes for nearly 4,000 yards, 23 touchdowns and just 9 interceptions. As a team, the Colts only turned the ball over 13 times all year. Then, somebody flipped a switch. They gave it away 4 times against the Chiefs, and 4 more times against the Patriots a week later. Of those 8 turnovers, Andrew Luck was directly responsible for 7 of them. Some teams spend decades searching in vain for their franchise quarterback. Andrew Luck may be the only guy in the league capable of filling Peyton Manning’s shoes. But if he fills those shoes too well, it may be a long time before the Vince Lombardi Trophy returns to Indianapolis. ve read, please subscribe to this blog or my Turn the Page book reviews blog. Please visit michaelsova.com. You can also find me on Facebook, and on Twitter @Micsova.