Sunday, November 4, 2012

I try to avoid posting about bloggers

But this dude blogs for Yahoo so he probably makes decent money for his work (well, some money anyways).  That makes him fair game as far as I'm concerned, and besides, oh my goodness gracious what a fucking idiot.

Where does Andrew Luck ank among NFL quarterbacks at this moment? 

Well, in terms of yards passing, he's now second overall in the league.  That's pretty good, although it's also a function of the fact that his team's running backs are Donald Brown and Vick Ballard.  If you want to use ANY other metric of QB performance, you'll see that Luck ranks pretty low.  24th in QB rating.  29th in completion percentage.  Tied for 17th in touchdown passes.  I can't find a stats site that will rank the league's QBs by TD/INT ratio, but his is 1.25, and that's pretty shitty.  Luck has definitely played decently, especially for a rookie, but he's probably not among the top 20 QBs in the league.

Are there 10 quarterbacks in the league better than him? 

Yes.  There are many more than that, in fact.


Manning, Brady, Ryan, Rodgers, Roethlisberger.  And a bunch of other guys.  Fellow rookie RGIII is outplaying Luck by a pretty significant margin by passing stats alone; add in Griffin's running ability and he's way, way, way better than Luck right now.  Not that RGIII hasn't also received his share of undue hyperbolic praise.  But if someone is going to write an article about how Luck is inserting himself into the MVP discussion (oh yes, he's about to do that, just wait), it seems like "he's not even the best rookie QB in the league" is a good place to start with a counterargument.

What Luck is doing in Indianapolis so far this year is among the most impressive feats a rookie has ever pulled off. 

He's throwing for a lot of yards, in part because he's 3rd in the league in attempts per game with 42.  He's been pretty average.  I know the history of the NFL is littered with crappy rookie QB performances, but it's not like he's setting the world on fire.

Behind his NFL rookie record 433 passing yards, Indianapolis beat Miami 23-20 to improve to 5-3. In a watered-down AFC, the Colts have a great shot at a playoff berth, which is amazing.

The Colts have beaten the Packers, I'll give them that.  On the other hand they've also lost to Jacksonville and been completely humiliated by the fucking Jets.  Their remaining schedule has 5 road games and 3 home games; they play Houston twice and New England.  They'll probably finish 8-8 and if they make the playoffs it'll be predominantly a function of the AFC's shittiness.

This is the same franchise that was in serious danger of going 0-16 last year. 

It's also the same franchise that went 10-6 in 2010 and didn't really lose anyone other than Manning for 2011.  It's not like the roster was a total wasteland when Luck showed up.  They had a horrible 2011, but I doubt they were a true talent 2 win team.  Just like they're not a true talent 10 win team now.

The Colts didn't add much in the free-agent market this offseason, realizing they faced a long-term rebuilding project.

Their offense had/still has plenty of quality pieces.  Their defense put up poor numbers last year, but those were skewed by the fact that the defense spent so much time on the field because the offense was abominable.  It was probably a middle of the pack defense, give or take, as it is this year and was in 2010.  They traded for Vontae Davis during the preseason.  Not really a "we don't expect to be good this year" kind of move.  I hate to be the bearer of bad news but you're going to have give other Colts besides Luck credit for their "5-3 although we're really not that good" start.

But they added Luck. And now they are halfway to a 10-win season and a wild-card berth.  Sometimes success in the NFL is as easy as having a great quarterback.

Just ask any of the vapid talking heads on FOX or CBS's pre/postgame studio shows!  That must mean it's true!

Luck was dominant against the Dolphins. 

He was pretty good.  He completed 63% of his passes and led his team to a 3 point win, at home, against another mediocre team.  

He completed 30-of-48 passes for 433 yards, with two touchdowns and no interceptions. He broke the Colts' rookie record for passing in a game - set by Jack Trudeau with 359 yards in 1986, of course. Were you expecting someone else?

The Colts had a more memorable rookie quarterback who set records that Luck is gaining on. ESPN Stats and Info said Luck is the second rookie in NFL history with four 300-yard passing games. The other was Peyton Manning in 1998. Luck has half a season left to add to that total.

And if he keeps throwing 42 times per game, he's got a good shot at getting there.

Two Colts receivers had 100-yard games on Sunday: Donnie Avery and T.Y. Hilton. That's not exactly Swann and Stallworth. 

And those guys often get single coverage because the Colts still have Reggie Wayne, who's still really good.  

The Colts could go from a team that started 0-13, brought back a roster that isn't dramatically better than last season and had the horrible situation of coach Chuck Pagano being diagnosed with leukemia during the season, to one that goes to the playoffs. Luck's impact on the first half of this NFL season can't be overstated. 

It certainly can.  Congratulations for accomplishing the impossible, sir.

He should be considered a legitimate MVP candidate through eight games.

Not even close.

If Luck isn't already considered in the elite tier of NFL quarterbacks, 

He's not.

his inclusion on that list will be an easy decision very soon, 

He looks pretty decent so far.  Maybe in a few seasons, depending on like twenty different factors.  So basically he has as good a shot as any talented-but-mediocre-so-far rookie would have of eventually joining those ranks, which is probably worse than 50/50.

especially as the Colts start to add pieces around him. 

Yeah, maybe an elite #1 wide receiver type guy.  They certainly don't have one of those right now.  (He would benefit from the presence of a running back who's not Donald Brown or Vick Ballard, I'll concede that.)

Indianapolis picked the perfect year to be awful and earn the first overall pick.

There's a chance Luck will end up being better than other QBs picked #1 overall recently, like Newton or Stafford or Bradford.  There's even a chance he's as good as Manning or Elway one day.  And then there's also a chance he's never any better than middle of the pack, because playing QB in the NFL is fucking difficult.  Up until this point I had no strong feelings either way on Luck.  Thanks to this article, which other than the fact that it uses correct spelling/grammar/capitalization sounds like it was written by a poster at, I now hope he fails spectacularly.


Anonymous said...

Hey Larry, remember back on January 12th when a guy wrote:

"...This year, thanks to Fielder, we are World Series favorites."

And then you wrote:

"That's probably the worst paragraph of sportswriting I've ever read...[T]he worst part of all is the final sentence."

It would've been funny if Detroit HAD won the World Series. Then I'd be like: 'Ha-ha! That'll teach YOU to write several blog posts over the course of a year!"

Larry B said...

Yeah I have to admit, as the Tigers made their run, I was thinking about LZ Granderson's article. He gets the last laugh I suppose, although it's worth noting that 1) they won 88 games while playing in the worst division in baseball, so it's not like they set the world on fire or anything, and 2) LOL IRONIC THAT FIELDER PLAYED HORRIBLY IN THE WORLD SERIES LOL IRONY IRONY IRONY

BR said...

"I AM THE HUCKLEBERRY" I feel so old as I had to look that up at Urban Dictionary.
In your list of five quarterbacks better than Luck right now you put Manning. Would that be Waterhead Manning or Dueling Banjos Manning? All I can say is when Waterhead won his Superbowl he had to outduel Rex Grossman, please. I eagerly await this year's fail.

Larry B said...

That doesn't make you old, BR, that makes you young. I'm sure it's been a thing that people say for a long time, but I associate it with Tombstone. Can't believe this movie is almost 20 years old.

I was referring to Waterhead Manning, although I really enjoy the nickname Dueling Banjos Manning for the other one. That's good stuff. Also, I am a Broncos fan, so you can go pound sand.

BR said...

I never saw Tombstone as I lead a sorry, insular life. Perhaps that is why Bill Simmons' pop culture references leave me cold.
The Waterhead nickname was a mean spirited shot at Peyton's gigantic forehead. I actually like the Broncos but my desire to see Peyton's petulant brat losing face on the sidelines trumps that.
So I pound and pound.