The Indianapolis Colts went 11-5 this season. That's right, 11-5. For anyone that has been living under a rock and hasn't heard anything about the Colts this year, that team that went 2-14 and had the first overall draft pick last year turned it around and went 11-5.
Not to mention they made the playoffs.
The Colts will have the fifth seed in the AFC and will play the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday. The game will be interesting as head coach Chuck Pagano takes on his former team.
As the Colts begin to head into yet another postseason, there is one player that has been looked at more than anyone on the team.
Indianapolis is a city that was blessed with perhaps the greatest quarterback of all time in Peyton Manning. With an incredible career with the Colts that included two Super Bowl appearances and a Super Bowl win, he was considered the best Colts player to ever be in the city.
Now there is a new face at quarterback. Andrew Luck was taken as the No. 1 overall pick and was expected to immediately start. As soon as he was taken, the comparisons between the two began.
But these comparisons need to stop.
The one thing that these two players have in common is that they are both incredibly good players in clutch situations. As Manning had countless scoring drives in two minute drills, Luck has built his own reputation of winning games in the fourth quarter. With seven game-winning drives this year, Luck has tied the record for most all-time.
Luck has had a rookie season that no other quarterback taken first in the draft has ever had. None of those other quarterbacks ever had a winning season in their first year.
Let alone get 11 wins.
Let alone make an appearance in the playoffs.
As good as Manning is, Luck is just a different quarterback. While his statistics aren't the best in the league, his intangibles are incredible. Manning has been an incredible statistical quarterback, and while that is still a good thing, Luck just hasn't had the stats at this point.
Luck finished with 18 interceptions on the season, just one off the league leaders in Drew Brees and Tony Romo. However, he also threw 627 passes, the fifth-most in the league and most by any rookie. His stats are misleading, and can't be used to judge his play.
What makes Luck even more different from Manning is his mobility. Manning was famous for his inability to scramble out of the pocket. Luck has had no such problem.
Luck ran for 255 yards and five touchdowns this year. His ability to scramble and escape pressure has been a big help as his offensive line has struggled. He was sacked 41 times this year, the fourth-most in the NFL. However, he would have been sacked far more if not for his speed.
Manning and Luck are simply different quarterbacks. While Manning is a nearly perfect passer, Luck has been a good passer with surprising mobility. These two players simply can't be compared at this time. After Luck has had more time, then the comparisons might be able to start back up.