All of the hype surrounding Andrew Luck's future as a
quarterback has taken a bit of a backseat to the spectacle that Robert Griffin
III has put on in Washington this season. But on Sunday, Luck reestablished his
position as the best young quarterback in the NFL.
Luck threw for a rookie record 433 yards — breaking Cam
Newton's previous high of 425 — and a pair of touchdowns in the Colts' 23-20 win
over the Dolphins. In the awe-inducing effort, Luck exchanged blows with fellow
rookie Ryan Tannehill. The back and forth battle was exciting, but Luck yet
again justified the enormous hype surrounding him.
While guys like Tannehill, Griffin — heck even Brandon
Weeden, on occasion at least — continue to impress with their statistics and
athleticism, Luck remains focused on the wins and losses.
Through his first half season in the NFL, Luck has as many
wins as any other first or second-year quarterback — Christian Ponder also has
five with the Vikings — and has now outdueled three of those companions —
Ponder, Tannehill and Weeden. Even more impressive, though, has been Luck's
impact on the Colts.
Just one season after finishing with an NFL worst 2-14 record
and going splits-ville with Hall of Famer Peyton Manning, Luck has Indianapolis
back in contention. What was expected to be a slow and steady return to glory
for the Colts' franchise has become one of the best stories of the year.
With Sunday's win over Miami, the Colts now sit at 5-3 and
hold a firm grasp on a playoff spot — something that was utterly unconscionable not
even eight months ago. An improved defense and a big talent boost have helped,
but Luck has been the primary reason behind the turnaround.
Luck is one of the Top 10 passers in the NFL right now and
Sunday's massive passing performance can only serve to improve his rating among
fellow quarterbacks like Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers, who Luck also
bested earlier this season. That's not to say that Luck is by any means in the same
elite category as Brady, Rodgers and others — at least not yet. But he's definitely
carving out a place for himself in the conversation.
There are still plenty of games and half a season left to
play. But with so much success this early in his young career, it's hard to
argue that Luck isn't already living up to the hype.