Andrew Luck Is the Best Rookie Quarterback and Other AFC South Must-Reads

Nate Dunlevy@NateDunlevyGuest ColumnistNovember 16, 2012

Everyone is piling on Luck, but the hype is justified.
Everyone is piling on Luck, but the hype is justified.Douglas Jones-US PRESSWIRE

Andrew Luck is the best of the rookie quarterbacks.

Today's article of the day comes from Mike Sando, Paul Kuharsky and Dan Graziano of debate who is the best rookie quarterback between Luck, Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson.

The debate was started by Kerry Byrne of Cold Hard Football Facts. I debated Kerry on air on Wednesday on this very topic (24-minute mark of the program).

The arguments for Luck are not so simplistic as "trust your eyes." Of course, those who watch Luck play are wowed by him, but as I've pointed out before, there's plenty of hard data to justify the attention Luck's receiving.

The reason why Luck trumps RGIII and Wilson in advanced metrics but trails in more conventional stats is because of the vertical nature of the offense he plays in. Luck is a bit of a statistical oddity, excelling on 3rd-and-long.

Indianapolis is third in the NFL on third-down conversions, and Luck's ability to run and pass is a huge reason why. His running metrics are similar to RGIII's despite fewer raw yards, because he's so effective at picking up first downs.

There are plenty of stats to show Luck is the best rookie. Sometimes the challenge isn't eyes versus numbers, but merely finding the right numbers.

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With Luck, it's not about wins and it's not about the wow factor. He has both in spades, but where he truly excels is in the ability to be productive at sustaining drives and moving the chains.

The numbers behind the numbers say it's not even close right now.

Andrew Luck is the best of the rookie quarterbacks.

General Interest

I appear with Tuck and O'Neill on AM 1040 in Orlando to talk general NFL stuff.

Scott Kacsmar of Bleacher Report presents his Thinking Man's Guide to Week 11.

Bill Barnwell of Grantland has an entertaining look at the five worst passes of 2012. 

Jason Lisk of The Big Lead examines deferring after the coin toss.

Lisk says the same qualities that make Eli Manning a "winner" make him do crazy things on the field too.

Chase Stuart of Football Perspective posts his power rankings.

Houston Texans

Ben Stockwell of Pro Football Focus looks at how the Bears tried to stop J.J. Watt.

Pete Prisco of CBS Sports looks at Jason Campbell's play against Houston.

Kuharsky has interesting thoughts on the hit that ended Brian Cushing's season.

Dale Robertson of the Houston Chronicle says Wade Phillips complained about fines for defenders.

John McClain of the Houston Chronicle says Gary Kubiak is patient.

Kuharsky says the Texans can make the Super Bowl.

Indianapolis Colts

Phil B. Wilson of the Indianapolis Star talks to Ryan Grigson. Here's part two.

Andy Benoit of the Football Outsiders breaks down film of Andrew Luck and loves what he sees.

Chuck Culpepper of Sports on Earth says Luck looks like he's 28.

Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star wonders about Luck's "neard."

Phil Richards of the Indianapolis Star says rookies are contributing.

Kuharsky compares Luck and Peyton Manning in their rookie years.

Tennessee Titans

Tom Gower of Total Titans has a snap report for the Titans' defense.

John Glennon of the Tennessean profiles Deuce Lutui.

David Boclair of the City Paper focuses on timely takeaways by Jason McCourty.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Ryan O'Halloran of the Florida Times-Union profiles Cameron Bradfield.

Vito Stellino of the Florida Times-Union posts a notebook.