The Indianapolis Colts are the luckiest team in the NFL.
I know what you’re thinking: ‘You’re crazy! They’re the worst team in the league! They lost their franchise QB and haven’t won a game yet this year!’
But still, the Indianapolis Colts are the luckiest team in the NFL.
Peyton Manning hasn’t played a game yet, and likely won’t suit up for Indy this year. The Colts won’t say for sure, but I mean, they’re 0-12 and Manning hasn’t even been cleared to swing a golf club. Why would he play?
So how exactly are the Indianapolis Colts the luckiest team in the NFL?
In the last twelve years, they’ve made the playoffs eleven times. In those eleven appearances, they’ve won a Superbowl, two AFC Championships and Peyton Manning won league MVP an NFL record four times. The Colts won the AFC South division eight times.
A decade of excellence.
The one year they blow up, hit complete rock bottom and lose their franchise QB for an unknown amount of time and Andrew Luck is the top pick?
You have got to be kidding me.
The Indianapolis Colts have the opportunity to draft the most highly touted quarterback prospect since, well, Peyton Manning.
A lot of fans of the Colts will likely be against this because they’re Manning supporters and never want to see him leave, much like the situation that occurred with Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay.
After being non-committal on whether he would draft Andrew Luck with the top pick (should Indy get it, of course), Colts owner Jim Irsay stirred the pot a bit with a tweet from last Sunday morning:
‘A hard boiled egg may bring luck, but it lasts 4ever…1 may be the loneliest #…but we WANT it!!!!!!!!’ – @JimIrsay
Of course Irsay would want to draft Luck. Manning is definitely approaching the end of his career, and while he may have two or three great years left in him, the Colts need to think about their future – especially with Manning’s injury this year.
Luck is ready to produce at the NFL level right now. He’s led the sixth ranked Stanford Cardinal to an 11-1 record and has done it with little help. There is no Robert Woods or Justin Blackmon in this offense. Just Andrew Luck.
This year, Luck boasts a stat line of 3170 yards to go along with 35 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. He holds career college numbers of 9083 yards with 80 touchdowns versus just 21 interceptions. This season he has completed 70% of his passes and holds a 167.5 quarterback rating, good for fifth in the nation, behind Heisman candidates Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson, Case Keenum and Kellen Moore.
The Cardinal’s lone loss of the year came against the then seventh ranked Oregon Ducks, when jaw-dropping junior running back LaMichael James ran all over the Stanford defence for 146 yards and three touchdowns.
The loss dropped Stanford from fourth to ninth in the BCS rankings, but the Cardinal reeled off back to back wins against the California Golden Bears and Notre Dame Fighting Irish to reclaim fourth place, and a likely matchup with the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.
While he already runs a pro-style offense at Stanford, which would make his transition to the NFL game much easier, the training he would receive from Manning and the Colts’ offensive coaches would be unlike anything he has ever experienced.
Drafting a quarterback with a first round pick is making a statement. Using the first overall pick on a signal caller, that’s on a whole different level. It can’t be comforting for Peyton Manning to know that his team plans to draft a quarterback with the top pick. It shows that his Indianapolis Colts are ready to plan for life after Peyton.
Fans will complain, as they did with Favre leaving Wisconsin, but realistically – Manning won’t be around forever. He’s shown over the last four seasons that, while he is one of the best there’s ever been, he is human. This year, its the back injury that’s left the Colts sputtering with an 0-12 record, and a loss of identity.
Peyton will be back for the Colts next year. He’s stated his desire to remain with the team that drafted him time and time again. The question then becomes when will Luck get his shot?
It’s been seen with greats like Brett Favre, Johnny Unitas and Joe Montana – many great quarterbacks finish their careers elsewhere. After a few seasons coaching Andrew Luck to run the Indianapolis Colts like he did for so long, Manning may face the same fate.
Peyton Manning was the Indianapolis Colts for a long time, but as far as prospects go, Andrew Luck shows the promise to be every bit as good as the man he’s compared to.
Sitting on the bench and learning from the most meticulous quarterback of all time for a few seasons could only help.