Aug 24, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) takes a snap under center against the Cleveland Browns at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Comparing Andrew Luck and Peyton Manning

Now I may take some heat from this article but, this isn’t my first rodeo.

During last night’s opening game, I got into a small conversation that involved a friend of someone I know. It was somewhat obvious that the guy may have been an Indianapolis Colts fan and he was pretty upset that the Colts let go of Peyton Manning.

Now after Peyton had his surgery’s, nobody was sure if Peyton was going to be the same again. Yeah he did a lot for that franchise and I’m sure it was tough for fans to watch him leave. I don’t blame fans for being upset, but when it comes to the future, you always have to be focused on the future.

Peyton has always been one of my favorite quarterbacks to watch. Even when he beat my Chicago Bears in the Super Bowl a couple of seasons ago. But when the Colts held the #1 overall pick in the 2012 draft, I knew what was coming. There’s a reason why the Colts made the decision they did and rolled with Andrew Luck as the future of the Colts.

In my opinion, Luck features almost the same playing ability that Peyton has. It may seem a little crazy to compare a second year quarterback to a man who is a for sure Hall of Fame inductee when he’s first eligible. But last season I nearly forgot that a rookie was under center in Indy.

Even watching Luck in his college days, he still resembled Peyton Manning to me. You take a look at their rookie seasons, I know Peyton debuted in 1995 but take a look at the stats.

Both Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck started 16 games their rookie seasons.

Peyton completed 326 passes of 575 attempts with a 56.7 completion percentage. Passing for 3,739 yards with 26 touchdowns and 28 interceptions, he had a 6.50 average with a rating of 71.2 passer rating.

Luck completed 339 passes of 627 attempts with a 54.1 completion percentage. He passed for 4,374 yards with 23 touchdowns and just 18 interceptions, averaging 6.98 yards per completion. His quarterback rating for last season was 76.5.

The only difference between both quarterbacks is their ability to hold onto the ball and scramble when they need to turn into a ball carrier.

The quarterback position has evolved over the years. We were used to seeing a couple of quarterbacks who could take off with the ball back when Peyton debuted but we weren’t used to seeing those types of quarterbacks like we are now. We’re pretty much spoiled when it comes to the quarterback position and their ability to have a strong arm, pocket presence and ability to pick up yards with their legs.

Guys like RG3 and Russell Wilson are pretty much hybrid quarterbacks that will have amazing professional football careers.

During his first season with the Colts, Luck rushes for 255 yards with five touchdowns. That may not be a lot compared to RG3 and Russell Wilson, but Luck got the job done.

The young quarterback came into the league with the worst team in the league for the previous season. Luck entered the season as a rookie quarterback for a team who went 2-14 during the 2011 season. Manning entered the league with a team who went 3-13 the previous season.

Peyton Manning took over the Colts after being selected #1 overall in the draft in 1998. They finished 3-13 on the season and finished fifth in the division.

Luck entered the season with the team that was pretty much a question mark. They had about 20+ new players on their roster so it was unclear on how they would perform during the season. But as we all know, Luck and the Colts took the league by storm. As RG3 and Russell Wilson lead their teams to victories and playoff berths, the rookie out of Stanford did the same thing for a team who was pretty much a stepping stone for 14 other teams in 2011.

The Colts finished second in the AFC South with a record of 11-5 and clinched a Wild Card berth but lost to the Baltimore Ravens in the Wild Card round.

In his first season as a starting quarterback, Andrew Luck was selected to the Pro Bowl.

Now I’m not saying Luck is going to be better than Peyton Manning, but I don’t think Colts fans are going to have anything to worry about. Manning could possibly have another three or four seasons left in the tank then he will walk off into the sunset as one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game.

Now Manning’s next season they finished 13-3, good enough to finish first in the AFC East. But they lost in the divisional round of the playoffs against the Titans. Manning was selected to his first Pro Bowl that season along with Edgerrin James and Marvin Harrison.

His numbers improved completing 331 of 533 passing attempts which was good enough for a 62.1 completion rating. His touchdowns stayed the same but his interceptions dropped a couple as he only threw 15. His quarterback rating on the year was a 90.7, which is pretty good for your second year in the league. So it appeared he was more comfortable with the team than he was a year before.

This season Luck will yet again have to prove himself to the league. Having a running back who can help spread out the offense in Ahmad Bradshaw, the Colts could be a threat in their division once again.

Even though we seen a couple plays last year that made us say ‘Yeah, that’s a rookie quarterback’, Luck still lead his team to victory and made us forget those mistakes.

Now with Manning throwing seven touchdowns in last nights opening game is pretty ridiculous. I did pick the Denver Broncos to win the Super Bowl against the Seattle Seahawks this season. But Andrew Luck will make some noise this season.

Bryan, this one’s for you buddy.


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Tags: Andrew Luck Denver Broncos Indianapolis Colts Peyton Manning