Andrew Luck just broke Cam Newton's rookie single-game passing record against the Miami Dolphins, proving that rookie quarterbacks are more prepared to play with the big boys in the NFL than ever before.
Per the Sun Sentinel's Mike Berardino:
Luck has 433 passing yards, giving him rookie single-game mark. Cam Newton had 432 last year. Tannehill 431 at Arizona this year— Mike Berardino (@MikeBerardino) November 4, 2012
It's not just Luck and Newton making noise, either. Ryan Tannehill, Robert Griffin III, Andy Dalton, Christian Ponder and Russell Wilson have all proven that young quarterbacks coming into the NFL are ready to compete from Day 1.
Players like Ben Roethlisberger and Joe Flacco were forerunners for this new trend, as they led their teams to the playoffs in their rookie seasons. They were able to find their success, though, due in large part to the strong running game and defense of their respective teams.
Luck and Newton, on the other hand, have come right into the league on bad teams without the benefit of a strong defense and have proven capable of being the driving force for their teams' success and the focal point on offense.
Looking at the Indianapolis Colts, Luck is fortunate to have Reggie Wayne by his side, but the team's offensive line has been atrocious, the team can't generate a running game most of the time and his other receivers are average, at best.
Still, Luck's putting up numbers that most veterans would be hard pressed to duplicate under the same circumstances. He's now led his team to a 5-3 start to the season after defeating the Miami Dolphins in Week 9, and if the season ended today, the Colts would be the No. 5 seed in the AFC for the playoffs.
Luck is on pace to throw for 4,808 yards with 20 touchdowns and 16 in 2012, and his team is on pace to finish the season with a 10-6 record and a playoff berth.
It used to be the case in the NFL that if teams had to start a rookie quarterback, they hoped that he'd be able to keep his mistakes at a minimum and not lose the game.
That's no longer the case, as Luck, Newton RG3 and the rest of the up-and-coming star quarterbacks are proving that they're ready to step in and be a major force for their respective teams.
We're entering a new era in the NFL, and I can't wait to see what happens next.