Are Luck-Manning comparisons still premature?
For years, college quarterbacks have been compared to Peyton Manning. But Luck may be next.
Because he’s quickly becoming the prototype.
Three Luck interceptions and 13 Calvin Johnson receptions for 171 yards and a touchdown gave the Lions a commanding lead. But the QB you’d never guess was a rookie performed his routine magic, making yet another opponent's fourth-quarter lead disappear.
ESPN’s Numbers Never Lie reported just how historic Luck’s win was.
Andrew Luck just became the 1st rookie QB selected No. 1 overall in the common draft era to win 8 games.— Numbers Never Lie (@ESPN_Numbers) December 2, 2012
The program then justified comparisons between Luck’s ability in the clutch and Manning’s.
That was Andrew Luck's 5th game-winning drive this season. Peyton Manning has only 3.— Numbers Never Lie (@ESPN_Numbers) December 2, 2012
Those numbers are nice. More impressive, though, is what Luck has done with the talent around him.
Five of the Colts’ seven leading receivers are rookies. That’s Dwayne Allen, T.Y. Hilton, Coby Fleener, Vick Ballard and LaVon Brazill. But on top of the wonders he’s done despite his inexperience, he’s resurrected his top two receivers’ careers.
At 34 years old, Reggie Wayne is supposed to be washed up. 2011 marked the first time in nine years he failed to eclipse the 1,000-yard receiving mark in the regular season. But instead of continuing to fade into irrelevance, Wayne has reeled in 88 Luck passes for 1,156 yards, and there’s still four games left.
Donnie Avery tells a different story of nearly fading into oblivion, but one with the same redemptive ending. The once explosive St. Louis Rams game-breaker caught just three passes in the previous two years. This season, he’s already recorded 44 receptions for 584 yards.
Elite QBs—MVP candidates—make their teammates better.
That’s what Luck is doing and that’s why all signs are pointing to him becoming the next Manning.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.