Replacing a legend or a huge fan favorite is never an easy decision for a football team.
But the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos both chose to do that this offseason.
It's funny how things worked out so quickly for both teams, especially in the case of the Colts. Usually, it takes at least two years to reap the benefits from selecting a quarterback with the No. 1 overall pick. However, the No. 1 overall pick usually isn't as good as Andrew Luck. He's had a few rookie stumbles, but overall, he's been as good as advertised.
Some would argue that he's been even better than that. In leading the Colts to their ninth win of the season, he has assured the team of a winning record.
This comes just one year after going 2-14, so that is a pretty significant accomplishment. While I still believe Robert Griffin III has been the league's best rookie, Luck is certainly in the conversation.
On the season, he has thrown for 3,596 yards passing with 17 touchdowns, but he does have 16 interceptions, which is tied for the NFL-lead with Drew Brees. However, Brees has 31 touchdown passes to go along with his picks.
Even if Luck holds on to the dubious distinction of being the league's most prolific pick-thrower, Colts' fans have seen this from a No. 1 overall pick before. Peyton Manning threw a league-leading 28 interceptions in his rookie season for the Colts in 1998.
I'd say things turned out pretty well from there.
The Colts let their legend walk after 14 years of esteemed service, and the Broncos dropped everything to snatch him up.
When I say everything, that obviously meant Tim Tebow as well.
No one has ever called Tebow a prototypical, can't-miss prospect. However, he had captured the hearts and imaginations of many Broncos' fans during the 2011 season when he led the team to a surprising 8-8 record after a 1-4 start with Kyle Orton as quarterback.
John Elway never bought into Tebow as the future—or even the present—answer at quarterback. Still, he had to know that he was going to hear some whining for mailing the Mile High Messiah to the Big Apple.
Manning is one heck of a pacifier, though.
He's been so good, and he's turned into more than a rubbery substitute. He's not Similac or Isomil. He seems like the natural choice.
Which team is in a better situation?
The Broncos are 10-3, they've already clinched the division and Manning appears to be the favorite for league MVP.
Quite honestly, the only loser in this equation is Tebow. It's sad, but true.
The Broncos have landed firmly on their feet, and they have as good a chance as any team in the NFL to win the Super Bowl.
The Colts aren't on that level, but they are in a much better position than anyone could have expected them to be at this point. The future is bright for Luck and his Colts.
Though I didn't think Jim Irsay was totally honest about he and Peyton wanting to be together, Luck's success proves that the team made the right decision.
Likewise, I thought Tebow deserved a better fate, but it's quite obvious that the Broncos and Elway made the right move as well.
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