Week 10 NFL Power Rankings: Andrew Luck Emerges as MVP Candidate
Maybe I'm high on Andrew Luck.
Maybe I'm just a bitter Eagles fan jealous that the Colts have a real pocket quarterback. A guy who looks like he is on his way to being the next great quarterback in the NFL. A guy who has quickly made Colts fans forget about that Manning guy. The one who went to the Broncos. Peyton, I think his first name is.
A season ago, this Colts team was in disarray. Having lost Manning for the season, they were forced to start the likes of Kerry Collins, Curtis Painter, and Dan Orlovsky, which resulted in a 2-14 season.
Next, they were forced to make a decision: Peyton Manning or Andrew Luck. They went with the guy who will be their quarterback for at least the next ten years. It's amazing the difference a quarterback makes.
Jim Irsay, you made the right decision.
Now, a season later, the Colts are 5-3 midway through the season, and if the playoffs started today, they would be playing the Denver Broncos. Manning vs. Luck. Yes, please.
Luck has been every bit as good as advertised in his rookie season. He's thrown for more than 300 yards three times, and broke the NFL record for passing yards by a quarterback in Sunday's win over Miami when he threw for 433 yards. He looks like a ten-year veteran out there, not a rookie quarterback.
Right now, in my eyes, he should be in the MVP discussion. Why not? Look at his body of work this season, and look at the footsteps he was following in. He put the Colts back on the map.
I see Peyton Manning as the comeback player of the year, but not MVP. He inherited a team that had just reached the AFC divisional playoff round; not a team that had the worst record in football the season prior.
Last thing, through eight games, both Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck both have 2,404 yards passing. Both quarterbacks have their teams at 5-3. Please, please, please, let these two teams square off in the playoffs. Could you think of a more highly anticipated playoff game than what this would be?
Who is the MVP midway through the season?
1. Atlanta Falcons (1): 8-0. Once again, the Falcons made the big plays when they needed them most to remain perfect. It has become a theme for them this season.
2. Chicago Bears (5): 7-1. The Bears have now forced 28 turnovers on defense—the most in the NFL. This defense truly is scary.
3. Houston Texans (3): 7-1. They took care of business against the Bills, and next the test gets tougher: at Chicago on Sunday Night Football.
6. New England Patriots (7): 5-3. The bye week ends with the Patriots hosting two straight home games. Up first, the Bills.
7. Pittsburgh Steelers (10): 5-3. Issac Redman channelled his inner Jerome Bettis, racking up 147 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's comeback victory over the Giants.
8. New York Giants (3): 6-3. Losses by the rest of the NFC East make Giants fans feel better about aforementioned loss.
9. Baltimore Ravens (8): 6-2. Joe Flacco needs to play better if the Ravens want to get over the hump in the AFC. The Ravens still get the Steelers twice.
10. Denver Broncos (9): 5-3. With an easy schedule the rest of the way, the AFC West belongs to the Broncos if they want it. I'm sure Peyton Manning will make it happen.
11. Indianapolis Colts (13): 5-3. The 2012 Colts have emerged as the feel-good story of the season. It's hard not to root for this team.
12. Miami Dolphins (11): 4-4. The Dolphins should rebound this week against the Titans after a tough loss in Indianapolis. Ryan Tannehill looked fine for a guy playing injured.
14. Seattle Seahawks (14): 5-4. Russell Wilson was sharp, as the Seahawks snapped a two game losing skid. Next up, another home game: the Jets.
15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (17): 4-4. That's now two straight road wins for the Buccaneers after that win in Oakland. Oh yeah, and Doug Martin is pretty good.
16. Minnesota Vikings (12): 5-4. Will the Vikings hot start go to waste? The schedule isn't easy the rest of the way.
17. San Diego Chargers (23): 4-4. That was a desperation game against the Chiefs, and the Chargers won handily. The schedule gets tougher with back-to-back road games.
18. Dallas Cowboys (16): 3-5. With five out of their final eight games played at home, the Cowboys could turn it around this season. I wouldn't put my money on Jason Garrett, however.
19. New Orleans Saints (26): 3-5. That's now eight straight wins for the Saints on Monday Night Football. Can they spoil the Falcons' 8-0 start next week?
22. Cincinnati Bengals (19): 3-5. When will the Bengals finally beat a playoff team? They get another shot this week when the Giants come to town.
23. Washington Redskins (20): 3-6. Mike Shanahan says the rest of the season is about evaluating for the future. Bad news Mike, you may not be a part of it.
24. Oakland Raiders (22): 3-5. Carson Palmer nearly led the Raiders all the way back, then cost them the game with an interception. Letting Doug Martin run wild didn't help matters either.
25. St. Louis Rams (25): 3-5. The Rams come out of the bye week and pay a visit to San Francisco. Scoring will be at a minimum for them.
26. Arizona Cardinals (27): 4-5. The bye week could not come at a better time for a Cardinals team who has dropped their last five games after a red-hot start.
27. Carolina Panthers (31): 2-6. Cam Newton played like he was tired of hearing about that Robert Griffin III kid in Washington. Can Rob Rivera save his job?
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29. Buffalo Bills (28): 3-5. They hung around in Houston, but at some point you need to score touchdowns. They couldn't and it cost them.
30. Cleveland Browns (29): 2-7. The Pat Shurmur watch is on, and he might not make it through the season.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars (30): 1-7. What can truly be said about this Jaguars team? I wish they traded for Tim Tebow at the deadline.
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