Coming out of Stanford, Andrew Luck was touted as the next big thing. His cerebral approach to the game, precision passing and ability to run were thought to be the total package. Three years into his career it seems as though people are assuming Luck is great because the majority of “experts” says it is so, not because he has earned it.
Luck has dominated the putrid AFC South during his tenure with a 15-2 record. Against the rest of the league he’s 17-13. He has dominated the bottom of the league and has been average against the rest of the NFL. Where would he be if he had to be in a division like the AFC North, AFC West, or NFC West?
The next big knock on him is his carelessness with the football. Thus far, he has turned the ball over 56 times (43 interceptions, 13 lost fumbles). People defend him by saying that he’s an aggressive thrower – “He throws the ball down field therefore it’s going to get picked off more”. That’s sounds great, but it is simply not true. In comparison, Aaron Rodgers has thrown 57 interception in his entire career and he fires the ball down the field more than anyone.
The pro-Luck argument is that he hasn’t had an offensive line or a run game in his career. Again, take a look at Rodgers as a prime example. Until Eddie Lacy entered the picture, Rodgers had to win games through the air only. He also worked his magic while running for his life whether it be scrambling or sliding around in the pocket. The year he won the Super Bowl he did it with the 30th ranked defense in the NFL to boot.
Luck has also shown that he isn’t as accurate as some believe. His completion percentage sits at 58 – a good percentage is thought to be 60-65%. Drew Brees, Rodgers, Tony Romo , Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers, Matt Ryan, Tom Brady Ben Roethlisberger and Carson Palmer all have a completion percentage over 62. Luck averages 38 attempts per game which means his typical stat line would read something like 22-38. In comparison, Brees throws it 37 times per game on average, but has a much better completion percentage at 66%. His typical line would look like 25-37.
That may not seem like a huge difference, but average it out over the season and the difference is more glaring. Luck’s numbers would be 352-608 and Brees’ would be 400-592. Again, if you are going to say Luck is elite these are the type of numbers set by his peers that he must be compared to.
“Elite” is a vague term and means different things to different people. Personally, if I had to rank quarterbacks currently I’d go with Rodgers, Manning, Brady, Brees, Rivers, Roethlisberger, Romo, Russell Wilson, Matt Ryan and Eli Manning before I think about Luck. You can blast me for my rankings because they are my opinion, but Luck’s numbers are factual and can’t be argued.
So far Luck’s cerebral style has lead to thoughtless turnovers. His passing precision has lead him to a mediocre completion percentage. His legs have been used to run away from defenders because he’s holding the ball too long in hopes of making a big play.
Don’t believe everything you hear – why can’t we just let things play out? We seem starved for the next big thing and then cling to it when we think it’s here. It is still early in his career, but if Luck doesn’t change his ways he will just be another guy full of potential who came and went.
Cover Photo: Andrew Weber/USA Today Sports
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