Choosing Between a Young Peyton Manning or Andrew Luck

By Bob Kaupang
Andrew Luck, Peyton Manning
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Fans of the Denver Broncos are ecstatic that Peyton Manning is their quarterback. Likewise, fans of the Indianapolis Colts are thrilled to have replaced one of the greatest players at the end of his career with Andrew Luck who many say is the best at that position moving forward. With that being said, when it is all said and done, who do you think is going to be the better of the two quarterbacks?

With Manning, you know that much of his story has already been written. You know for a fact that he has been in the NFL for 15 seasons and has won one Super Bowl while appearing in two. He has thrown for almost 60,000 yards to go along with 436 touchdowns versus 209 interceptions. In addition, he is an incredible 154-70 as a starting quarterback.

While much of the story has already been written, you cannot ignore the fact that his Broncos are among the frontrunners to make it to the Super Bowl next season. If Manning were to win a Super Bowl in Denver, the ante of his legacy will have significantly been upped. Big time.

However, everyone knows that quarterbacks are judged on the hardware upon their fingers and Manning “only” has one ring as a 37-year old.

Meanwhile, Luck is coming off an impressive rookie campaign where he broke Manning’s rookie record for passing yards by tossing for 4,374 of them. Manning threw for 3,739 yards in 1998 in his first season in Indianapolis.

Luck inherited a Colts team coming off of a 2-14 campaign and led them to the playoffs his rookie year while Manning only managed a 3-13 record as a starter in his inaugural season after taking over a bad 3-13 Colts team in 1997. However, in year two, Manning helped reverse that record for the Colts and led them to a 13-3 record. Can Luck improve the Colts to this record in his second year?

If we compare the individual numbers of Manning and Luck as rookies for the Colts, we can see that Luck threw for more yards and had a better TD/INT ratio with it being 23-18 for Luck and 26-28 for Manning.

With this being said, who would you rather have as your starting quarterback moving forward if you were starting an NFL franchise and had to choose between either of these players with Manning being the current age of Luck?

You cannot choose Manning with the intent that this time around he would win multiple Super Bowls by the time he was 37-years of age. You must take the younger version of Manning who at 37-years old will have one Super Bowl win and great individual statistics who almost always leads his team to terrific seasons, but accompanied by many inevitable playoff heartbreaks.

Or would you choose a 23-year old in Luck with no rings but an extremely bright future whose history hasn’t been written yet? Luck may eventually have multiple Super Bowl wins or he may be the next Dan Marino who had a great career yet couldn’t win the big one. The risk and reward is up to you.

By taking Manning you guarantee yourself at least one Super Bowl win in your first 15 years (and potentially more in his late-thirties) while there is more risk associated with Luck in terms of never winning the big game or winning more than Manning up to this point.

In the comments section, please let us know who you would choose and why.

Bob is a Seattle Seahawks writer for Follow him on twitter @seahawksbob.

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