As QB Andrew Luck enters his 3rd NFL season, it’s time to look at the comparison that he’ll probably never fully escape. That is, how he compares to the legendary Indianapolis Colts’ Quarterback he replaced, Peyton Manning. Right or wrong, fair or unfair, QB Andrew Luck will always have to deal with the shadow of Peyton Manning and replacing a legend. While he’s done a remarkable job of showing poise and composure both on and off the field, he still plays in “The House that Manning Built” (i.e. Lucas Oil Stadium) and still sees a plethora of #18 jerseys in Colts’ blue at home games.
To his credit, Luck has shown nothing but respect to his quarterbacking predecessor. He’s remained humble and answered all of the tough questions in the most politically correct way possible. Just like Manning, he’s become a student of the game, and when he’s not in the film room, he’s doing his best to get acclimated to teammates, practicing, or in the weight room. It’s a compliment to Luck that’s he constantly compared to Peyton Manning. If he hadn’t been the “next best thing” at quarterback since Peyton Manning, most NFL circles probably wouldn’t even waste their time with the comparison.
Still, the only quarterback that Andrew Luck should reasonably worry about being is Andrew Luck. Play within yourself, and take it one game at a time. He has a chance to write his own history and become a legend in his own right. Colts’ fans will always remain loyal to Peyton and be extremely proud for what he did for the Colts’ franchise, the City of Indianapolis, and the State of Indiana as a whole, but at the same time, we’d never turn our backs to “greatness”. Luck has always carried himself the right way, and he has a phenomenal approach to the game of football. If you had to pick any Quarterback to replace Peyton Manning in the last decade to come out of school, it would be him hands down. It’s a no brainer decision.
However, just for fun, let’s compare QB Andrew Luck to Peyton Manning in their first 2 seasons with the Colts for comparison purposes:
As you can see by the numbers, Luck and Manning compare quite favorably in their first two seasons in the NFL. Luck has the slightly higher Quarterback Rating (QBR) of 81.8 compared to 81.0, but Peyton threw for a higher completion percentage, as well as more touchdowns (6). In turn, Peyton also threw 16 more interceptions, largely because of his 28 interception rookie season.
It appears that Luck’s development is right on course to be a future star at the quarterback position, if QB Peyton Manning’s young career is any clear indication. Meet the new Quarterback, pretty much the same as the Old Quarterback? So far, so good, Colts’ fans.