With award season upon us, it's clear that Andrew Luck should be the 2012 Rookie of the Year.
Luck had an absolutely fantastic season. He threw for 4,375 yards, 23 touchdowns and 18 interceptions.
He took an Indianapolis Colts team that went 2-14 the year before to 11-5 and a playoff berth.
Luck also revived his receivers. In 2011, Reggie Wayne had only 960 yards receiving. This season, he had 1,355.
That shows that without Luck, the Colts would simply be lost. He set the record for most passing yards by a rookie in history and helped lead his team to the playoffs when their coach was not in action due to illness.
Many will put forth Russell Wilson or Robert Griffin III to win this award. They are both deserving.
Wilson threw for 3,118 yards, 26 touchdowns and only 10 interceptions while leading his team to the NFC Divisional Playoff Round.
Griffin III was equally terrific, throwing for 3,200 yards and 20 touchdowns. He rushed for 815 yards and seven touchdowns.
What separates Luck from these other two fine quarterbacks?
Quite simply, no one did more with less.
The Colts were absolutely dreadful last season. They were a disaster at quarterback and their receivers struggled because of it.
Luck comes in, with all the expectations on his back, with all the comparisons to Peyton Manning, and shined. He took an awful team and turned them into a playoff team.
He rose as the leader of the team when they needed it most. When Coach Chuck Pagano was out with illness, Luck stepped up and made sure his team still played winning football.
Luck is not the sexiest of players. He's a classic drop-back quarterback. He doesn't have the jaw-dropping runs of Griffin III or the backyard scrambling of Russell Wilson.
What he does have going for him is that he took a franchise down on its "luck" and turned into an instant contender, in the midst of tremendous adversity.
Luck did what we thought he would—step in and change the course of the Colts.
That's what he did.
He did it with tremendous results.
Luck is not the sexy pick. He's not the flashy pick.
But because of his exploits, both on and off the field, Luck is the right pick.
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