The Indianapolis Colts' season didn't end in a manner they would have liked, but it's impossible to argue that 2012 wasn't a success—especially when you're discussing the play of their rookie quarterback.
Andrew Luck came in with the weight of a franchise on his back and the legacy of Peyton Manning looking over his shoulder. He finished the season ensconced in the heart of every Colts fan, who can rest easy knowing they're set under center for another decade.
After such a fine first year, it seems appropriate to comb through the numbers and see how Luck truly stacked up. All of the stats will be based on his regular-season performance with a slide devoted to his playoff debut.
Luck's 23 touchdown passes place him squarely in the middle of the pack. Surprisingly, that puts him one behind Ryan Fitzpatrick (who knew?) and one more than a trio of veteran signal-callers (Joe Flacco, Matt Schaub and Carson Palmer).
That also places him near the top of the rookie class. Robert Griffin III ended with 20 passing scores while Russell Wilson tied Peyton Manning's rookie record with 26. Brandon Weeden and Ryan Tannehill finished with 14 and 12, respectively.
Being only three off the pace set by one of the greatest quarterbacks ever is a positive place to start a career. Doing it while constantly being harassed by defenders just adds to the intrigue.
Luck's passing attempts, all 627 of them, are a testament to how much this team relied on its No. 1 overall pick.
The running game barely scratched out 100 yards per game, leaving the rookie to power the offense with his arm.
Yes, this is a rookie record, and it really puts the season in context.
The context that the last slide was supposed to provide will hopefully console Colts fans.
Because Luck's 54.1-percent completion percentage isn't good. It ranks 31st out of 32 qualifying quarterbacks (at least 14 passes per games played).
That number places him .2 ahead of Chad Henne and .2 behind Mark Sanchez. Those are not names Luck wants to be associated with.
However, if the Colts can add more balance and give him better protection, this number should rise significantly. He spent 38.1 percent of his dropbacks under duress.
Still, he was only accurate on 67.4 percent of his throws (via Pro Football Focus), which lands him 25th out of 27 qualifiers.
Oh, and 50 dropped passes certainly didn't help his completion percentage.
No rookie signal-caller has been as prolific as Andrew Luck from a yardage standpoint. And it's not even close.
In 2011, Cam Newton set the new mark at 4,051. Obviously, Luck obliterated that record in 2012.
So, despite the low completion percentage and high volume of drops, Luck was able to move the offense up and down the field using his arm.
That's not a comforting stat. Luck struggled throughout the year with turnovers and sloppy play during the first three quarters of games.
Oh, they're good?
Maybe we shouldn't get upset with Luck for one interception per every 35 throws—especially behind that offensive line.
We've left the most important stat for last: wins.
Andrew Luck was able to lead the Colts, who won all of two games in 2011, to 11 victories in his first season.
Considering how porous the defense could be and how much the offense relied on Luck's arm, that's truly incredible.
Although, even more impressive was the manner in which he won. Seven of the Colts' victories required Luck to lead the team to a late score, including three that were won with under a minute to go.
Again, this is an impressive number for a rookie. One of his young brethren will get at least one more than Luck, but that shouldn't diminish how far he carried this team.
As for his performance against the Baltimore Ravens, he'd probably rather we left it out of any post-career reviews.
He finished with 288 passing yards but also had an interception. Furthermore, Luck didn't lead the Colts to the end zone.
However, his receivers did drop quite a few passes, so not all the blame should land on the quarterback.
Still, all things considered, fans have to be excited going forward. Indy has a real, live franchise quarterback.