BY KYLE MYERS – FAN FUEL BLOGGER
Just eight months ago, the Indianapolis Colts were a team in dire straits. Fresh off a 2-14 season with Curtis Painter at quarterback, the Colts declined to pick up franchise quarterback Peyton Manning’s contract option for fear that his multiple neck surgeries would be a detriment to his on-field play. The team’s hopes rested on one man’s shoulders; 22-year-old Stanford Junior quarterback Andrew Luck, who was the consensus number one pick in the 2012 NFL Draft – a pick the Colts possessed.
What has transpired thus far in the 2012 season has been nothing short of a magical turnaround. Though Manning has flourished in Denver, putting up numbers which rival his career bests, Luck has proven himself to be the saviour everyone in Indy expected.
Through Week 15 of the 2012 season, the Colts are 9-4, and in position for an AFC wild-card. This is a far cry from 2011 when the Colts posted the league’s worst record, and looked like a shell of the team that Peyton Manning led to a Super Bowl in 2007.
Luck has truly been the difference in the Indianapolis Colts this season. The team is still ranked in the bottom third in total defence, and yet are in prime position for a playoff berth.
Detractors will argue that his statistics pale in comparison to colleagues like Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning or Matt Ryan, and for the most part this cannot be argued. Luck has thrown just as many interceptions as touchdowns, and he has over 20 total turnovers through 14 games.
And regardless of what the statistics say, the MVP award is based on results, and in this case, the results cannot be argued. Andrew Luck was put into a feast or famine situation – drafted number one overall by a franchise in turmoil and expected produce immediately – and he has succeeded. To take a team from the basement to the playoffs in one season is a feat which cannot be undervalued, and one which is deserving of the NFL MVP.
Peyton Manning’s numbers will likely garner him a good number of MVP votes, but he plays on a Broncos team that made the playoffs in 2011, and is surrounded by playmakers on both sides of the ball, including a dominant defence. Andrew Luck has proven himself far more worthy this season by turning around a franchise which, for all intents and purposes, was in danger of becoming irrelevant, and succeeding despite the talent around him being less than stellar.
If the Indianapolis Colts make the playoffs this season – which looks likely – Luck will be seen as one of the most successful first overall draft picks in NFL history and a saviour to the Indianapolis Colts, and there is no other player in the NFL today who more deserves the title of NFL MVP.
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