Andrew Luck Makes Pro Bowl and Other AFC South Must-Reads

Nate Dunlevy@NateDunlevyGuest ColumnistJanuary 22, 2013

Jan 6, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) throws a pass against the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Wild Card playoff game at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY Sports

Andrew Luck is headed to Hawaii after all.

The Indianapolis Colts announced via direct press release that, due to an injury to Tom Brady, Luck will represent the AFC in the Pro Bowl.

Luck will play alongside Reggie Wayne and Robert Mathis and, just as significantly, Peyton Manning.

Brady skips the Pro Bowl nearly every year, typically due to some injury that is never severe enough to keep him off the golf course. He's missed his last six Pro Bowls due to an assortment of maladies.

For Luck, the honor comes as a cap to a fantastic rookie season that saw him break the record for most passing yards by a rookie. He also became the first top pick in the draft to guide his team to a winning record and a playoff berth.

Luck richly deserved the spot, which looked like a foregone conclusion a month ago. Stunningly, all three of the top seeds in the AFC lost, leaving Manning, Brady and Matt Schaub all eligible to play in the game.

Fortunately for Luck, Brady has no interest in the event, and the opportunity to showcase his talents was afforded him. Given that veterans often play sparingly in the event, Luck may actually get the bulk of the snaps for the AFC.

Luck's conventional stats were uneven, but many advanced metrics showed just how valuable he was to the Colts. His seven game-winning drives helped Indianapolis to a 9-1 record in one-score games, boosting the franchise to a remarkable 11-win season, nine better than in 2011.

General Interest

Scott Kacsmar of Cold Hard Football Facts recaps the comebacks.

Football Outsiders takes a look at blows to the head calls.

Chase Stuart of Football Perspective asks if Joe Flacco is elite.

Houston Texans

Rivers McCown of Battle Red Blog looks back at his shadow draft.

John McClain of the Houston Chronicle says Owen Daniels is now a Pro Bowler.

Indianapolis Colts

Kyle Rodriguez of Colts Authority compares Cassius Vaughn to Darius Butler.

Tennessee Titans

John Glennon of the Tennessean looks at backups who could matter in 2013.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Ryan O'Halloran of the Florida Times-Union says the Jaguars will retain a pair of assistants.

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