Andrew Luck: Ability to Overcome Adversity Makes Colts QB Rookie of the Year

Rick Weiner@RickWeinerNYFeatured ColumnistDecember 9, 2012

DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 02:  Andrew Luck #12 of the Indianapolis Colts walks off the field after defeating the Detroit Lions 35-33 at Ford Field on December 2, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)
Dave Reginek/Getty Images

I've said it before and I'll say it again—the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Award belongs to Andrew Luck.

He continues to prove that he's head and shoulders above the rest of the talented field, one that includes Washington's Robert Griffin III and Tampa Bay's Doug Martin week after week.

Week 14 was no different.

Luck threw two first-half interceptions against the Tennessee Titans—including one that was returned 40 yards for a touchdown by the Titans' Will Witherspoon—but shook them off and led his team back from a 13-point deficit in the second half to win their third consecutive game, 27-23.

Veteran quarterbacks, much less rookie gunslingers, struggle with the ability to shake off mistakes and still lead their team to victory.

Just ask Carson Palmer, the only quarterback to throw interceptions in more consecutive games than Luck—and who has failed to lead the Oakland Raiders to victory since October 28:

Not always lucky...Andrew Luck's pick-6 marks his 5th straight game w/an interception. Only Carson Palmer has a longer active streak (9).

— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 9, 2012

Indianapolis' rookie now leads the NFL with 18 interceptions, 10 of which have come over his last five games.

But along with the negatives come the overwhelming positives, including the 3,792 passing yards, moving him past someone who Colts fans are quite familiar with into second place in the NFL record books. Per ESPN Stats and Info:

.@nflcolts QB Andrew Luck: passes Peyton Manning for 2nd-most passing yards by a rookie in NFL history

— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 9, 2012

Next up is Carolina's Cam Newton, who set the record last year when he threw for 4,051 yards.

Sitting only 259 yards behind Newton, it's no longer a question of if Luck will break that mark, it's only a question of when—and by how many yards.

Shaking off adversity and leading his team back from seemingly insurmountable odds is becoming second nature to Luck, a point once again illustrated by ESPN Stats and Info:

(ELIAS) Andrew Luck gets credit for his 6th fourth-quarter/OT game-winning drive for @nflcolts, most by rookie since AFL/NFL merger

— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 9, 2012

This ability isn't something that can be taught by a coaching staff, nor is it an ability that one can develop over time.

It's either in your DNA or it's not, and in Luck's case, it's allowed him to put a team that won only two games in 2011 on his back and lead them to nine wins on the season with a chance for more—and very likely, a return to the playoffs.

No other rookie in the league can say the same.


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