Indianapolis Colts: Is Andrew Luck on Pace to Be Better Than Peyton Manning?

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Indianapolis Colts: Is Andrew Luck on Pace to Be Better Than Peyton Manning?
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck is, without a doubt, one of the best young QB's this league has seen in quite some time. With an incomparable combination of size, speed, accuracy and athleticism, Luck has Colts fans eyeing Super Bowl runs as early as this year.

So, is it too early to say that Luck could possibly wind up being better than Peyton Manning?

While it is entirely too early to definitively make that statement, it will never be too early to compare the two. Luck, in his second year out of Stanford, took a 2-14 Curtis Painter-led team and turned them into 11-5 success stories. And while most attributed such success to the motivation to win for head coach Chuck Pagano, who was battling leukemia, Luck and company have made a statement thus far.

Last year was no fluke. This team is special.

Comparing the two's rookie seasons has been done numerous times by countless writers and television programs alike. So bear with me for a moment.

Andrew Luck vs. Peyton Manning: Rookie Season
Player Comp % Yards TD INT QBR
Peyton Manning (1998) 56.7% 3,759 26 28 71.2
Andrew Luck (2012) 54.1% 4,374 23 18 76.5

Stats via ESPN.com

As seen in the table above, Luck had less interceptions thrown on more attempts his rookie season. And despite Manning winning the touchdown category, you have to like Luck's touchdown-to-turnover ratio over Manning's.

Moving away from the all-too-talked-about rookie campaign, it's time to start comparing the two's sophomore seasons, as can be seen below.

Andrew Luck vs. Peyton Manning: Sophomore Season
Player (Through 5 Games) Comp % Yards TD INT QBR
Peyton Manning (1999) 61.6% 1,395 11 7 92.4
Andrew Luck (2013) 62.2% 1,144 7 2 94.1

Stats via ESPN.com

Upon review, it seems that both quarterbacks seem to be very evenly matched across the board. That is, however, until one looks at the rushing statistics.

Any Colts fan knows that Peyton was never a pretty runner. That is not the case with Andrew Luck.

Luck possesses a 40-yard dash time that matches that of Cam Newton, which is where the incomparable combination comes to play. Just take a look at the discrepancy between the two QB's rushing stats through 21 games as the starting quarterback.

Andrew Luck vs. Peyton Manning: Rushing
Player (Through 21 Games) Attempts Yards YPC TD
Peyton Manning (1998-99) 27 66 2.4 1
Andrew Luck (2012-13) 82 390 4.75 7

Stats via ESPN.com

That is why Luck gets the upper hand so far. Andrew possesses the ability to make things happen if the pocket collapses, as the Colts' offensive line tends to do. The added ability of mobility gives the Colts something they haven't had in a very long time, in that the quarterback can continue to make things happen on broken plays.

Do not read into this the wrong way—I am not saying that Andrew Luck IS better than Peyton Manning. Not at the moment, anyway. What I AM saying is that second-year Andrew Luck is definitely better than second-year Peyton Manning. 

And if this follows course, the Colts may have been lucky enough to have two Hall of Famers in the same time span it has taken the Cleveland Browns to successfully find one.

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