Colts Andrew Luck Is Rookie of the Year
Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts ended their 2012 NFL season last Saturday when they lost to the Baltimore Ravens in the first round AFC Wild Card game. An outsider looking in may see a successful rookie debut in the NFL, but it was actually nothing short of NFL history. Andrew Luck’s rookie season could go down as the greatest rookie season in NFL history. In this article we rewind the clock and review how a rookie, fresh out of Stanford, took the NFL’s worst team to the NFL postseason in one season. Saying Andrew Luck is the NFL Rookie of the Year is an understatement at best.
The year prior the 2012 NFL Draft saw Andrew Luck to an 11-2 record and a berth in the Fiesta Bowl. While Stanford lost the game it capped off a career that made Luck the winner of the Maxwell Award (award given by coaches, players, and media as the best college football player in the country) and the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award. It was also the second consecutive year he finished runner up in the Heisman Trophy voting. Andrew Luck left Stanford as the university’s most winning quarterback, both in number of wins and percentage, with a career record of 31-7 (.816). Andrew Luck is also underestimated as an athlete too. Luck is 6’4” 234 lbs. runs 4.67, has a 36” vertical, along with a cannon for an arm to go along with the Stanford I.Q. Impressive huh
Fast Forward to April 26th and the day of the NFL Draft where the Indianapolis Colts made no secret that their selection was Andrew Luck. This was made clear when the team released Peyton Manning, possibly the greatest quarterback in NFL history, due to an injury and 4 neck surgeries. The Colts officially made Andrew Luck their franchise quarterback that fateful spring day.
Talk about pressure to perform? While Luck was certainly glad to officially be an NFL quarterback I can only assume the thoughts that went through his mind after the buzz of the Draft wore off. The now NFL rookie was taking on the team with the worst record in the NFL going 2-14 in the 2011 season. A team with a new head coach, Pierre Garcon to the Redskins, aging defense, no running game, and only one receiver anyone ever heard of. Thank God for Reggie Wayne. The Indianapolis fan base is very accustomed to 12 win seasons and trips to the post season. That’s largely due to the biggest elephant in the room, so he thought, Peyton Manning and the historic virtually un-fillable shoes he was stepping into. Expectations were tampered and the intelligent Colts fan base has been down this road before. So, how do you feel about Andrew Luck as NFL Rookie of the Year? Still not convinced, well there’s more.
The Colts releasing Manning was a gamble, even with the likes of Andrew Luck. Nobody knew at the time if Peyton Manning had played his last game in the NFL. We all now know he hasn’t with the MVP performance with the Broncos in 2012. If Luck had been a bust then the fans would have viewed the move to acquire him a huge mistake. Well what followed was the proof that Andrew Luck was worth the gamble. He gave the fans, organization, and the league the greatest rookie debut in NFL history.
Luck led the Colts to a 2-2 preseason and didn’t provide much in the way of what the rookie’s potential would be. Next were Andrew Luck’s NFL regular season debut and the season played out like feel good family movie.
Sunday, Sept 9th 2012 – Andrew Luck’s first NFL game was at Chicago and the showing was exactly what everyone would expect. The Colts, with their new franchise rookie QB, got crushed by the Bears in week one 41-21. The fans and the league were not surprised. Andrew Luck was 23/45 for 309 yards and 1 TD, O yea there were the 3 interceptions.
Andrew Luck and the Colts bounced back and beat the Vikings in week 2. Any hope of promise evaporated with a week three loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars that included the injury to starting RB Donald Brown. Going into the bye Andrew Luck was 1-2 and looking at a long NFL rookie season. The Colts also had Packers team that was just one season removed from winning the Super Bowl waiting for them in week 5. The season looked like a chore that comes with the process of rebuilding an NFL franchise. Then the bombshell is really dropped.
Oct. 1st, 2012 – Indianapolis Head Coach Chuck Pagano tells the team and the world he has acute *Promyelocytic Leukemia and was taking an “indefinite leave of absence”. The head coaching duties would fall to Bruce Arians for as long as it took to beat the cancer. Andrew Luck is now left with head coach with cancer, losing record, injured RB, and the shadow of Peyton Manning. Where most would crumble and call it a season at that point, the rookie quarterback was about to show the world what hard work and determination was all about.
The remaining season went something like that reads in storybook fashion. Andrew Luck in his rookie season led the Indianapolis Colts, with a bunch of rookies, to a 10-3 finish and an NFL playoff berth in the AFC Wild Card game. That’s right the NFL’s worst team of 2011, going 2-14, has now been led to 11-5 and the postseason…BY A ROOKIE!
Yes, they lost to Baltimore and they didn’t win the Super Bowl. Who cares! To say that Andrew Luck had a pretty good rookie season is like saying Joe Montana had a decent Super Bowl record. Never in the history of the NFL has a rookie had to overcome more than what Andrew Luck did. Unlike his rookie counterparts, Russell Wilson and Robert Griffin III, the Colts didn’t change the offense to suit him and make it easier. They threw him the playbook and said “here ya go” now win. Guess what, he did!
Although he did set more than a few NFL records in his rookie season, the real award, was giving the fans and the NFL a performance of class, poise, and performance that sets the bar for every rookie NFL player that comes after him. Andrew Luck NFL Rookie of the Year award? I say Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year are both valid arguments but, Andrew Luck winning the NFL Rookie of the year is not the story of this young man’s life. I hope if you are a Colts fan you know how blessed you are. To get Andrew Luck after Peyton Manning is like winning the lottery three times in three weeks.
Andrew Luck NFL records For Rookie Season
- Most games with over 300 yards passing by a rookie
- Most yards passing by a rookie in NFL season: 4,374 yards
- Most passing attempts in a rookie season: 627 (5th highest in all NFL wow)
- Most wins by 1st over-all pick in the NFL Draft as a rookie
- Most game-winning drives in rookie season quarterback
- Most 4th quarter comebacks in rookie season quarterback
- Most yards passing for single game by a rookie quarterback: 433
*What followed was amazing support for the Head Coach all throughout the NFL season. He is back and leading the Colts now and for the future.
Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson have had great seasons, but neither has had to endure what Andrew Luck has gone through. For this, and others reasons, Luck should win the top offensive rookie award….More at Andrew Luck Should Win 2012 NFL Rookie Of The Year, And Here’s …
Rookie of the year Andrew luck MVP Calvin Johnson
— Stammel2454 (Zachary Stammel) (@Stammel2454) Tue Jan 8 2013
If the voters don’t give Andrew Luck the NFL Rookie of the Year, I think Luck will be OK with it. The future looks bright for Andrew Luck, the Indianapolis Colts franchise, and their fans.