Indianapolis Colts rookie quarterback Andrew Luck will forever be compared to to Peyton Manning, which is unfair considering Luck does not have to come anywhere near Manning's production to win in the NFL.
Manning was an anomaly. He acted essentially as the offensive coordinator at the quarterback position and make mostly mediocre players look like the NFL's elite. Manning did not need a running game or defense, as his game management had the ability to act as both.
His statistics and awards are jaw-dropping. 11 Pro Bowls. Five first-team All-Pro selections. Four-time MVP. Super Bowl MVP. Fastest ever to 50,000 yards passing. 54,828 yards, 399 touchdowns and a career 94.9 passer rating. The list goes on, but how many Super Bowls did Manning win with the Colts?
Luck does not have to meet the fancy individual accolades to be loved in Indianapolis like Manning is currently. Instead, he can bring multiple Lombardi Trophies to Indianapolis and be loved all the same.
None of this is to say that Luck does not have the ability to meet or exceed Manning's individual accolades. Luck is ripe with potential and is easily the best prospect to enter the NFL in quite some time, possibly since Manning entered in 1998.
Luck is much more mobile in the pocket, and the Colts appear to be set on surrounding him with adequate weapons. After all, since Manning entered and dominated the league, the NFL has transitioned to a passing-oriented league, which means Luck will have a plethora of athletic weapons to throw to on every down.
As long as the offense is tailored correctly to Luck's skill set, he will succeed in the NFL. Conversely, Manning did not have an offense constructed around him, he made the offense.
In today's NFL Luck will more than likely live or die with the offense he is placed in by the coaching staff. Manning was an aberration in this regard.
The job is simple for Luck. To be equal to Manning in the hearts and minds of those residing in Indianapolis, he simply has to win more rings than Manning. It is hard to expect anyone to ever match Manning's statistics, but reaching or exceeding his amount of rings is obtainable.
While Super Bowl wins are a horrible way to effectively evaluate a quarterback, it is a statistic that stands out in the hearts and minds of NFL fans. If Luck can bring more Lombardi Trophies to Indy than his elite predecessor did, he just might be able to exceed the absurd expectations placed on his shoulders before even strapping on a Colts helmet.