NFL History Says Indianapolis Colts Should Draft Andrew Luck
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What about life after Manning?
Will they, if they "win" the top pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, pick Stanford QB Andrew Luck?
Manning will be 36 years old when the 2012 season starts. Having a quarterback beyond the age of 35 would be an issue for some teams. Add that to the neck problems that have caused him to miss this entire season magnifies the problem even more.
Manning will most likely be a first-ballot Hall of Fame inductee.
Who the Colts bring in to be the future of the franchise will set their course for maybe another 15 years.
Here is a look at how some other teams attempted to replace a Hall-of-Fame quarterback and how they have done in the years since.
John Elway was Super Bowl MVP in his final game.
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Hall of Famer to replace: John Elway
With Elway: (1983-1998) 161-93-1 regular season record, 10 playoff appearances (14-8 postseason record), seven division titles, five AFC Championships, two Super Bowl titles.
Since: 106-94 regular season record, four playoff appearances, the last in 2005 (1-4 postseason record), one division title, no AFC Championships or Super Bowl wins.
John Elway left the game in story-book fashion. After three humbling Super Bowl losses, he finished his career with consecutive Super Bowl wins. To make it even better, he was Super Bowl MVP in his final game.
Since then, the Broncos have struggled.
The jury's still out on Tebow, but until he brings home a Lombardi Trophy, nobody in Denver will forget about Elway.
The Broncos are a prime example of a team that has not made good choices in finding a franchise quarterback.
Green Bay Packers
Brett Favre retires—the first time—in March 2008.
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Hall of Famer to replace: Brett Favre
With Favre: (1992-2007) 161-95 regular season record, 11 playoff appearances (12-10 postseason record), seven division titles, two NFC Championships, one Super Bowl win.
Since: 35-21 regular season record, two playoff appearances, no division titles, one NFC Championship, one Super Bowl title.
The Packers are the model to follow when replacing a Hall of Fame quarterback.
Of course, Favre hasn't been retired long enough to be considered, but he should be a first-ballot inductee.
It should be noted that the year Aaron Rodgers was drafted—2005—was the year Favre turned 36. The Packers allowed Rodgers to sit and watch for three years before watching Favre retire/un-retire/leave via trade.
It's a strategy the Colts might want to employ should Manning be healthy enough to play in 2012.
The Dolphins are still looking for a suitable replacement for Dan Marino.
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Hall of Famer to replace: Dan Marino
With Marino: (1983-1999) 163-108 regular season record, 10 playoff appearances (8-10 postseason record), five division titles, one AFC Championship.
Since: 87-97 regular season record, three playoff appearances (1-3 post-season record), two division titles, no AFC Championships or Super Bowls.
The Dolphins have failed miserably in trying to replace Dan Marino.
Among the men who have tried—Jay Fiedler, Ray Lucas, Brian Griese, Duante Culpepper, Trent Green, Cleo Lemon, John Beck, Chad Pennington, Chad Henne and now, Matt Moore.
A mostly forgettable list of guys who were past their prime when they passed through Miami or cursed by injuries during their time there. Only Beck is currently starting for another NFL team.
The Dolphins might have a chance in the "Suck for Luck" sweepstakes. However, they probably won't have the luxury of having him wait a few years before playing him.
San Francisco 49ers
Montana and Rice were once a San Francisco treat.
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Hall of Famer to replace: Joe Montana
With Montana: (1979-1990) 120-63-1 regular season record, nine playoff appearances (15-5 postseason record), eight division titles, four NFC Championships, four Super Bowl titles. Even though Montana was with the 49ers until being traded to Kansas City before the 1993 season, he missed all of 1991, and only played in one game in 1992.
Replaced by: Steve Young, who went 97-34 in the regular season, made seven playoff appearances (8-6 postseason record), one NFC Championship, one Super Bowl title.
The 49ers got this one right.
Following a 1986 injury that caused Montana to miss half the season, the 49ers made a trade with Tampa Bay to bring Young in as Montana's back-up.
Besides his first year as starter in 1991 and his last injury shortened season in 1999, San Francisco made the postseason every year of his career. He holds the Super Bowl record of six touchdown passes in a single Super Bowl.
Replacing him, though, has been another story . . .
San Francisco 49ers
Steve Young threw 6 TD passes in Super Bowl XXIX.
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Hall of Famer to replace: Steve Young
With Young: (1991-1999) 97-34 regular season record, seven playoff appearances (8-6 postseason record), five division titles, one NFC Championship, one Super Bowl win.
Since: 83-114 regular season record, two playoff appearances—none since 2002 (1-2 post-season record), one division title, no NFC Championships or Super Bowls.
Though there have been a few other starting quarterbacks for San Francisco since 1999, Jeff Garcia and Alex Smith have spent the most time trying to replace Steve Young.
Garcia was a former Canadian League player who had a short run of success in San Francisco. He was released following the 2003 season.
After a 2-14 season in 2004, the 49ers held the top pick in the 2005 NFL Draft. They chose QB Alex Smith, a highly acclaimed Urban Meyer product from the University of Utah.
He has endured injury and several coaching changes. However, with new coach Jim Harbaugh, the team is 7-1 in 2011.
He may never live up to the potential of a No. 1 draft choice, but in the 49ers system, that might not matter. San Francisco is not a "pass first" team, currently ranking 30th in passing.
Smith, though, has been effecient. He is sixth in rating at 97.3, with 10 touchdowns and only two interceptions.
That might not make people forget Montana and Young, but it should be good enough keep Smith around for a while longer.