Andrew Luck just turned 24 years of age and is arguably the most important player to his team in the entire NFL.
Having watched every game of Luck's NFL career the kid is still remarkably underrated. I know that is hard to believe as he is often times seen as a poster boy and compared to the elite guys. The thing is what he has done with Indy over the last season and a half is borderline ridiculous and this year he is having an MVP season and is already as elite as they come.
Take last game for instance against the Houston Texans on the road. Luck and the Colts offence struggled mightliy the first half. What do you expect though when you are starting one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL and your starting WR's are DHB (a WR 4 at best), Ty Hilton (2nd year), and Griff Whalen (1st game). Now I know Hilton can make plays and has upside but we are talking about a 2nd year WR that is far from established. The running game was ineffective and this O line would struggle to block a CFL defence. You add Fleener to the mix and he is a second year TE that has a ton of room for growth and is still a ways away from being a good player in the NFL.
What does Luck do in that Texans game? He puts the team on his back and wills out the win. The stat line of only completing 18 of 40 passes does not look great percentage wise, but he threw for 271 yards, 3tds and no ints. This looked like a game where the majority of veteran QB's would pack it in and not only lose the game but lose it on their team and recivers along the way. Luck though is the ultimate team and natural born leader. He continues to motivate, encourage and work the side lines instilling confidence in his young team. He could have folded multiple times in that game and instead he pulls out yet another 4th quarter win. He has 10 fourth quarter come backs in only 24 NFL starts. The kid just has no quit in him and has already established himself as one of the most clutch players playing today.
The team at 6 and 2 has knocked off SB favorites Seattle, Denver, and San Fran this year.
Luck is on pace to throw for 3700 yards with 26 td's to 6 ints. He also is on pace to add 366 rushing yards and 6 rushing td's.
You could not find me 3 more important players to their team this year than Andrew Luck. It is amazing what he continues to do each week after only turning 24 years of age two months ago.
There is still more to this story but as of right now here is how I have it...
1) Andrew Luck... There are some people that perform to expectations and then there are some expectations that are so high it seems impossible to reach them. Andrew Luck has not only met the most lofty of expectations he has exceeded them in ridiculous fashion.
Many are going to point to his low completion percentage and his high number of ints as a negative but it is only a minor hit on what has been an incredible rookie season. I have never seen a team count on a rookie so much. Luck has been asked to throw and throw a ton. Sure, this may help the stats, but it has also helped turn around a team that won 2 games last year. It is not as if he is compiling these stats in fourth quarter garbage time against prevent defenses ala Carson Palmer this year. He has the Colts team at 8 wins to 4 losses all the while throwing for 300 yards a game and 17 td's. He is on pace to throw for 4,800 yards He already has 503 attempts on the year as the team counts on him so much to put up points with a running game that is sub par at best. He also is far from a dink and dunk passer which is one of the reasons he has a low completion percentage as well as a large number of ints.
Too go along with his high number of passing yards, he has added 216 yards rushing with 5 tds. His athleticism is underrated. He is 6'4" 240 lbs and moves so well. He is avoided plenty of sacks this year as well as completed some passes while guys have been draped all over him.
It definitely helps having Wayne as his go to guy, but Luck has helped the rest of this supporting cast so much. His O line is below average and to go along with Wayne he has Avery (done little his career), Hilton (rookie), Fleener (rookie), Allen (rookie). Ballard (rookie), Brown (little to his career).
Projected year end stats... 372 of 656 for 4800 yards, 22 tds' to 21 ints, 288 yards rushing, 6 rushing TDs. Over 5,000 yards of offense with 28 td's. That is crazy.
3) Russell Wilson
4) Doug Martin
I don't have the time to do a write up for each guy, but will say that Wilson has made a very nice push as of late to pass RGIII. If Wilson continues to put up more passing yards to end the season and his team keeps winning then he may pass RGIII by season end.
I don't buy the Wilson is ahead of the other two guys but won't win it because he plays in Seattle argument. Wilson has been one of the surprise stories of the year and although he would be a clear front runner in most years, he is behind 2 guys right now that have been better than him. I am assuming the Wilson supporters will point to the QB rating and TD's, but Wilson has yet to have a 300 yard passing game on the year and in 7 of 12 games he has failed to throw for more than 200 yards in a game.
Martin is having an amazing rookie year, but great QB play trumps great RB play.