Robert Griffin is having a tremendous year. Andrew Luck, too, is having a tremendous year. There is some argument over to which one of those two young men will win the Rookie of the Year award, and both are deserving, no doubt. If you hold their statistics side by side, they are very similar, but Luck throws a lot more interceptions. I, for one, think Griffin should win the award, despite my being a Colts fan. The Colts are still, in a way, built like Peyton Manning’s team, and it will take time to adapt, but the team Griffin went to in Washington hasn’t been good, had no system of success and the franchise was moribund. Griffin made it his own and gave the team a spark it hasn’t seen in decades. Give that man the ROY award.
The reason that Colts and Andrew Luck fans may not be willing to admit that Griffin deserves the award is because of who they are comparing Luck to. The Indy QB is being compared to two players, and he has exceeded both of their success. First is Curtis Painter, the biggest disaster to afflict either Purdue or Indianapolis. Ryan Lindley is challenging Painter’s status, but he may still be one of the 5 worst quarterbacks to ever start an NFL game. He made the Colts look bad. A mediocre quarterback would have extracted more wins out of last year’s team. Heck, when they went to Dan Orlovsky, they DID start to win a couple of games. Andrew Luck looks so much better than what the team had last year. How could he not be a candidate for Rookie of the Year?
Speaking of rookies, the other quarterback that Andrew Luck will inevitably be compared to is Peyton Manning. In the Colts offense, Manning was an interception machine. He threw 17 in his final season playing in Indianapolis. In his rookie season, he threw 28! Not only that, he lost 13 games. If we are going to hold the Luck-Manning comparison to the same interception criteria, then Andrew Luck has been better as a rookie than Manning was. And he’s not far off from what Manning was in his final season in Indianapolis. Yes, Manning had more touchdowns, but Luck has averaged nearly as many yards a game as Manning’s final season, and more than 50 more than he had in his rookie year.
I’m losing track of my point. What I’m trying to drive home is that Colts fans aren’t concerned with interceptions. Indy is used to it. The Colts still run a high volume passing attack that opponents can definitely game plan for. To put up the numbers that he has, in an offense designed around a wily veteran, and one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game, is nothing short of impressive, even if Luck doesn’t deserve Rookie of the Year honors yet.
(On that same token, one benefit that Griffin does have in Washington is Alfred Morris. At least the Redskins have some semblance of a ground game. Manning didn’t turn it around, truly, until the Colts added Edgerrin James.)