NFL Power Rankings: After Week 5, Andrew Luck Is the Real Deal

Wesley Kaminsky@@Wesley_KaminskyCorrespondent IIIOctober 9, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - OCTOBER 07:  Andrew Luck #12 of the Indianapolis Colts celebrates as he runs off of the field following the 30-27 over the Green Bay Packers in the NFL game at Lucas Oil Stadium on October 7, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Is there any question as to why Andrew Luck was anointed the next great quarterback in the NFL? Since his days at Stanford, all the talk was how Luck was the most NFL-ready pro prospect seen in years and that he was due for stardom at the next level.

You know the story with Luck in Indianapolis. He had big shoes to fill following Peyton Manning to say the least. So far, through four games, it looks like it might be a smooth transition for Colts fans. Luck has thrown for over 300 yards in all but one game as the Colts have already equaled their win total from a season ago.

Sunday against the Packers, however, was special. Trailing 21-3 at halftime, Luck accounted for three second half touchdowns en route to a 30-27 comeback victory. Luck orchestrated a beautiful final drive, hitting Reggie Wayne for a touchdown with 35 seconds left.

In all, Luck connected with Wayne 13 times for 212 yards. It's safe to say they have chemistry, kind of like Manning and Wayne did for so many years prior.

Watching Luck play, he looks like a veteran and is not afraid to make big throws. Colts fans were fortunate enough to transition from Peyton Manning to Andrew Luck. I wish my team could do that.

1. Houston Texans (1): 5-0. The Texans proved again on Monday Night why they are the AFC's most complete team as they beat the Jets for the first time in franchise history. 

2. Atlanta Falcons (2): 5-0. With their second straight come-from-behind victory, the Falcons are now 5-0 for the first time in franchise history.

3. San Francisco 49ers (3): 4-1. Since the 49ers loss to the Vikings in Week 2, they've given up a total of three points in their past two games. This defense does not take any prisoners.

4. Baltimore Ravens (5): 4-1. Has the Ravens defense lost a step, or was giving up 140 yards to Jamaal Charles a fluke? The important thing was they were able to hang on for the win. Somehow. 

5. New England Patriots (6): 3-2. The Patriots offense is clicking and has the luxury of getting Aaron Hernandez back, too. Look out below. 

6. Chicago Bears (8): 4-1. The Bears head into the bye week having won three straight games since their Week 2, 23-10 loss in Green Bay. All is well with Jay Cutler...for now.   

7. Pittsburgh Steelers (13): 2-2. Rashard Mendenhall showed no signs of rust in returning from a torn ACL, rushing for 81 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown in Sunday's win. Don't forget about the Steelers. 

8. Arizona Cardinals (4): 4-1. The Cardinals got dominated in St. Louis en route to their first loss of the season. They get the Bills this week before playing the likes of the Vikings, 49ers, Packers and Falcons in their next four games. We'll see what they're really made of after these games.  

9. Philadelphia Eagles (9): 3-2. With five fumbles thus far this season, it's clear Michael Vick has a problem protecting the football. The Eagles let that one slip away. 

10. New York Giants (10): 3-2. The Giants avoided a disaster against the Browns by outscoring them 41-13 after starting the game out 14-0. They'll take it. 

11. Minnesota Vikings (15): 4-1. If the season ended today, Leslie Frazier has my vote for coach of the year. Not many people had this team at 4-1 right now. 

12. Green Bay Packers (7): 2-3. The Packers haven't looked right all season long, as they surrendered a 21-3 lead in Indianapolis. Next up? At the unbeaten Texans on Sunday Night Football.  

13. Denver Broncos (12): 2-3. Peyton Manning was brilliant—throwing for 345 yards and three touchdowns—but the Broncos defense couldn't get off the field. They gave up 35 first downs to the Patriots. 

14. St. Louis Rams (18): 3-2. The Rams defense is for real as they held the Cardinals to just three points on Thursday night. Next up, they get a road test in Miami.

15. Seattle Seahawks (16): 3-2. The Seahawks defense will keep them in a lot of games this season as they've shown thus far. They get two huge tests coming up with the Patriots and 49ers on the horizon.

16. San Diego Chargers (14): 3-2. With that loss, Norv Turner is now 49-68-1 in games decided by one possession or fewer. That's a telling stat. 

17. Cincinnati Bengals (11): 3-2. That's a bad loss for the Bengals, and it could come back to bite them. Can they rebound in Cleveland?

18. Dallas Cowboys (17): 2-2. The Cowboys had a lot to think about over the bye week and visit the Ravens next. All eyes are on Tony Romo. 

19. Indianapolis Colts (27): 2-2. So far, Andrew Luck has been just as good as advertised, if not better. That comeback win against the Packers was special.

20. Washington Redskins (19): 2-3. Would the Redskins have won had Robert Griffin III not been knocked out of the game with a concussion? We'll never know. We do know that Griffin needs to learn to slide or go out of bounds when running, though.

21. Miami Dolphins (22): 2-3. Credit Joe Philbin as he's done a great job with this Dolphins team so far. They're competing. That was a great win in Cincinnati.  

22. New York Jets (20): 2-3. With every loss, the Tim Tebow talk becomes louder and louder. Put him in already, Rex.   

23. Detroit Lions (23): 1-3. Did the Lions rediscover an offense over their bye week? We'll find out Sunday in Philadelphia. 

24. New Orleans Saints (30): 1-4. They saved their season momentarily with that win over the Chargers. They get a bye week before back-to-back road games in Tampa Bay and Denver.  

25. Carolina Panthers (21): 1-4. Cam Newton is now just 7-14 in two seasons in Carolina. This season he has taken a step backwards, or a Sophomore Slump. 

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (26): 1-3. The Buccaneers look to end a three-game losing streak coming out of the bye week when the Chiefs come to town. 

27. Oakland Raiders (28): 1-3. The Raiders get out of the bye week and travel to Atlanta to play the unbeaten Falcons. Ouch. 

28. Buffalo Bills (25): 2-3. The Bills have given up a total of 558 yards rushing in the past two weeks and have been outscored 97-31 in the span. I smell trouble. 

29. Tennessee Titans (24): 1-4. After breaking out for 141 yards in Week 4, Chris Johnson came back to earth with 24 yards on 15 carries on Sunday.

30. Kansas City Chiefs (29): 1-4. It can't be a good sign when your starting quarterback gets cheered after getting injured. Matt Cassel's 14 turnovers through five games probably have something to do with that.

31. Jacksonville Jaguars (31): 1-4. I've never been a Blaine Gabbert believer, and he isn't taking any steps forward this season. It might be time to put Chad Henne in the starting lineup. 

32. Cleveland Browns (32): 0-5. After a hot start, the Browns couldn't hold on against the Giants as they remained the NFL's only winless team.


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