Peyton Manning is putting together what may be the best season in NFL history for a QB. However, not many Indianapolis Colts fans are complaining much about losing the all-time great because Andrew Luck simply keeps winning.
For the ninth time in his first 21 games, Luck orchestrated a fourth-quarter comeback victory on Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks. The moniker “comeback kid” has been thrown around loosely through the years and was even the nickname of former Colts QB Jim Harbaugh for a time. However, Luck has truly put feet on the term.
After three offensive starters went down for the year with injury in the first two weeks of the season — including starting tailback Vick Ballard — and losing an ugly game to the Miami Dolphins, the Colts looked destined for mediocrity in 2013. However, No. 12 and company didn’t seem to get that memo.
“This is the most resilient team that I’ve ever [seen],” head coach Chuck Pagano said to the Associated Press after the game. “They’ve got more grit than anybody, any team I’ve been around.”
Even though general manager Ryan Grigson quickly filled the void left by the loss of Ballard by picking up Trent Richardson, there still seemed to be some pretty big holes on the roster. However, as Indy fans know from the Manning years, an elite QB can cover up a multitude of sins, and that’s exactly what they have in Luck.
Most analysts may not be willing to put Luck into the “elite” category just yet based on statistical or postseason reasons. Most analysts would be wrong. Luck has more comeback victories through 21 starts in NFL history, and there isn’t a QB I’d want behind center in the final quarter of the game more than No. 12. He’s simply magic when his team needs him the most, and is the primary reason I had Indy No. 9 in my preseason power rankings.
After beating two of the best teams in the league in the Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers over the past three weeks, the Colts have made a bold statement about where they belong among the league’s elite and sit atop the AFC South at 4-1 for the first time in the post-Manning era.
While the move to release Manning will always be a painful memory in Indianapolis, Luck’s play on the field and class with the media has made the transition almost seamless for fans. If that doesn’t make him elite, what does?