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NFL Indianapolis Colts

Indianapolis Colts: 5 Reasons Why Andrew Luck is an Elite NFL QB

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Andrew Luck Leaps Into Elite Quarterback Conversation

Andrew Luck
Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

On Saturday afternoon, as the Indianapolis Colts sat behind the Kansas City Chiefs by a score of 38-10 with 13:39 to go in the third quarter of a Wild Card game, there were few who could have blamed Andrew Luck for looking forward to the 2014 season. After all, the Chiefs defense had been one of the most stout in the NFL for the last year, had stifled Luck up to that point in the game and showed no signs of cracking.

But Luck would not give in to the thought of giving up, and turned a 38-10 deficit into a 45-44 victory at the end of the fourth quarter. The quarterback took over the game when it least seemed possible, throwing with accuracy and strength all over the field, running the ball when necessary and generally taking the Chiefs apart one piece at a time.

For the entirety of the night he finished 29 of 45 passing for 443 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions, and showed why the Colts decided to make him the No. 1 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. In addition to justifying this pick though, the performance of Luck was so good that many people are now ready to throw him in the elite class of quarterbacks, alongside the likes of Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees.

I must admit to believing that Luck belongs in the class of elite quarterbacks, and have provided five reasons to back up this claim. Of course, there will be some who disagree, and to that extent I encourage you to leave a comment as to why you agree or disagree and we can engage in open ended conversation.

Enjoy!

Tyler Leli is a Washington Capitals writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter, "Like" him on Facebook or join his network on Google.

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5. All the Physical Tools are There

Andrew Luck
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

While being a physical specimen is not always vital to being a top level quarterback, it is clear it helps Andrew Luck succeed. Blessed with an accurate and strong right arm, Luck has the ability to make throws all over the football field look easy. Additionally, at 6-foot-4, 239 pounds, he is both big and fast enough to serve as a dual threat on the field, and has the combination of tools that nearly all top level quarterbacks have.

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4. Luck Has an Incredible Record In Close Games

Andrew Luck
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Whenever the Indianapolis Colts find themselves in a tight game it seems that Andrew Luck guides the team to a victory, whether with his arm or legs. In games decided by seven points or less, Luck has a 14-2 record over his two-year career, and has been the deciding factor in nearly each of those games. In order to be an elite quarterback, one must be effective when things get tough, and Luck certainly is.

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3. Luck Has An Impressive Statistical Resume

Andrew Luck
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Some people will take knocks at Andrew Luck for not always lighting up the stat sheet, but his output is not as bad as some believe. Over the first two years of his career, Luck has thrown for 8,196 yards--an NFL record--46 touchdowns and 27 interceptions, while also rushing for 632 yards and nine touchdowns. This two-year output can match up against any other quarterback, and helps make Luck an elite quarterback at only 24 years old.

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2. Luck Does It All With Sub Par Talent

Andrew Luck
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

While compiling a great statistical output and a 22-10 regular season record, Luck has often been handed a group of skill players that is sub par to say the least. Aside from Reggie Wayne--who was injured for the second half of 2013--the Colts have boasted such guys as T.Y. Hilton, Trent Richardson, Donald Brown, Coby Fleener and Darrius Heyward-Bey at running back, tight end and wide receiver. Doing what Luck has done with this core is simply amazing, and puts the quarterback up against the likes of Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.

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1. Luck Is an Incredible Leader

Andrew Luck
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

One thing that cannot be easily defined by statistics, but is extremely crucial from a quarterback, is their leadership ability. In this category Andrew Luck has been absolutely impeccable, as he has helped turn around a Colts team that had a 1-15 record before his arrival and brought it to two straight playoff appearances. During this time Luck has gained the respect of everyone in the Colts locker room, become the undoubted face of the franchise and established himself as an elite NFL quarterback.