Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck is the clear choice for NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year because he has been responsible for more of his team's success than other top candidates such as Washington Redskins star Robert Griffin III and Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.
Griffin and Wilson have been helped by the league's No. 1 and No. 2 rushing attack, respectively, while the Colts running game ranks 22nd.
Luck has not been able to benefit from the play-action pass much this season and doesn't have a 1,000-yard running back to prevent opposing defenses from primarily focusing on stopping the passing game.
The lack of a strong running game has forced Luck to attempt 599 passes through 15 games, which is the most among all rookie quarterbacks.
The Colts have asked Luck to be responsible for most of the team's success on offense, and he has responded with one of the finest seasons by a rookie quarterback in NFL history.
Not only has he set the NFL record for passing yards by a rookie, but Luck has also helped the Colts secure a playoff spot in the AFC just one year after the franchise finished 2-14 without Peyton Manning.
Nobody expected the Colts to make the playoffs, or even win 10 games. Without Luck, the Colts are probably one of the teams hoping to get the No. 1 pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.
The defense has played well at times, but Indianapolis ranks 19th in pass defense and 30th in run defense. Luck hasn't had the luxury of an elite defense, while Wilson has a great defense and Griffin has a top-run defense.
Statistically speaking, Luck is deserving of this award. He leads all rookies in passing yards (seventh in NFL) and is second in touchdowns with 21. He has also rushed for 254 yards with five touchdowns.
Luck's challenge of bringing the Colts to the playoffs this season was much more difficult than Griffin or Wilson leading their teams to the postseason.
Without a top defense or a star running back, Luck has been under so much pressure this season to perform at a high level. If he doesn't play well, it's incredibly tough for the Colts to win games.
If Wilson or Griffin struggle, the Seahawks and Redskins can still win by running the football effectively and playing great defense. The Colts aren't going to beat teams consistently if they have to rely on their running game and defense.
Luck has played a larger role in his team's success than Griffin and Wilson have, and when you combine that with a strong statistical season, the Colts quarterback becomes the clear choice for the 2012 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award.