By: Zach Parker
Andrew Luck came into the NFL in 2012 as arguably the most hyped up quarterback prospect in league history. While he has certainly become a more than capable starting quarterback, I still don’t believe that Luck will ever be in the same category as Tom Brady, Peyton Manning or Aaron Rodgers.
Now before everyone freaks out, I’m not saying that Luck is not a good player. I think he’s fantastic, probably top 10 at his position. I just don’t agree with the “once in a generation talent,” title that has been bestowed upon him.
Even the most casual sports fans will tell you that winning championships is what separates the good players from the great ones, particularly at the most important position on the field, quarterback. Brady, Manning, Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger, Drew Brees and Russell Wilson are typically the names that get included with Luck when discussing best quarterbacks in the league. However, each of these players boasts something that Luck so far cannot, at least one Super Bowl ring.
Luck has led the Colts to the playoffs in each of the past three seasons, but has yet to claim a conference championship. In 6 career playoff games, Luck has thrown for 9 touchdowns and 12 interceptions, with a 3-3 record. By comparison, Kansas City Chiefs’ quarterback Alex Smith has thrown for 9 touchdowns with zero interceptions in just three career playoff games and Atlanta Falcons’ quarterback Matt Ryan has thrown for 9 touchdowns and seven interceptions in five career playoff games. Yet no one would dare say that Smith or Ryan is in the same caliber as Luck.
Alright, so maybe you’re not one of those people who think that postseason success is a fair way to determine the best quarterback. Perhaps you’d rather focus on an entire body of work rather than just a handful of games played at the end of the season. For his career, Luck has thrown for 89 touchdowns and 48 interceptions, which is certainly nothing to scoff at.
One could safely assume that because of the recognition that Luck receives in the media, a quarterback with similar statistics would also be considered an elite talent. Since 2012, the year Luck entered the NFL, Cincinnati Bengals’ quarterback Andy Dalton has thrown for 84 touchdowns and 53 interceptions, yet no NFL expert would be caught dead muttering Dalton and Luck in the same breath. In the same timeframe, Luck has accumulated 13,450 passing yards compared to 14,589 by Ryan and 14,406 by Detroit Lions’ quarterback Matthew Stafford.
At the end of the day, as I stated earlier, I’m not saying that Luck is a bad starting quarterback, but rather asking that we be careful when referring to him as a once in a generation talent or the best quarterback to enter the league since John Elway. The potential is certainly there, but perhaps my pointing out these statistics and comparisons with other quarterbacks will allow you to be more accurate in your assessment of the former first overall pick.