Andrew Luck is a fine QB and a pretty tough critic.
Less than 24 hours after leading the Colts to their 5th win while breaking one rookie record and tying another, the No. One overall draft pick walked into the Colts’ locker room and rapidly described himself as average, really.
“A ‘C’ is average, so I think I’d give myself a ‘C’,” Luck said when requested a grade.
Had Luck used a similar standard in the classroom, he will not have an architectural design degree from Stanford yet.
But there’s nothing average about Luck’s fast start.
After spending the previous 2 seasons being billed as the NFL’s next big thing, the 2-time Heisman Trophy runner-up has surpassed the sensationalism over his first 8 pro games.
He’s already won 3 more games than Indy did last season with 3 vet quarterbacks. On Sun., against a good Dolphins defense, Luck broke Cam Newton’s single-game record for yards passing (432) by throwing for 433 in a 23-20 victory. He also tied the rookie record set by his predecessor, Peyton Manning, for most 300-yard games in a season (4) and continues to maintain the pace for a historic season.
Through 8 games, he is 190 of 336 for 2,404 yards with 10 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. At this rate, he would shatter Sam Bradford’s rookie marks for completions (354) and attempts (590) and Newton’s record for yardage (4,051). With a slightly stronger 2nd half, he may even challenge Manning’s rookie record for TD passes (26) and he’s still a ways from approaching Manning’s 1st-year record for interceptions (28). Sports scores
He’s already beaten a couple of the other 5 rookie starters (Brandon Weeden and Ryan Tannehill) and has surprisingly pushed the Colts into the playoff discussion.
Numbers alone can’t tell the story. Despite being under heavy pressure, Luck has been able to elude defenders and even shake off Packers’ Clay Matthews to make a key pass in a game-winning drive, and he’s rallied the Indianapolis Colts to three 4th-quarter wins.
The toughest part of this season was supposed to be the endless comparisons to Manning. So far, Luck has had little difficulty measuring up.
Manning has exactly the same quantity of wins and yardage as Luck this season, though Denver’s QB has thrown for 2 times as many touchdowns and leads the NFL with a quarterback rating of 108.6.
But Luck has had a better rookie season than Manning did.
Luck has thrown and completed more passes in his first 8 games, has thrown for 531 more yards, completed a higher percentage of passes than Manning (56.5 percent to 55.1), thrown half as many interceptions (16 to 8), only 1 fewer touchdown (11 to 10) and has a better quarterback rating than Manning did at that point (79.0 to 64.5).
While some now say Luck has more talent around him than Manning did then, they might forget that in ‘98, Manning had Hall of fame RB Marshall Faulk, receiver Marvin Harrison, 2 vet tight ends and 2 tackles that became longtime cornerstones in the Colts’ offense.