Is Peyton Manning’s Neck Injury the Worst Thing to Ever Happen to Andrew Luck?

I’ll be writing about the NFL for Intotheopenfield.com in the future.  You can find this post again and all new ones on that site in the next few days, so give it a look at the new site! 



History is a fascinating connection of streams that could have been altered by even the slightest change of events.  Today we focus on the health history of one former quarterback affecting the career of a current quarterback.  In 2011, Peyton Manning missed the entire season due to a neck injury that forever altered the history of coaches, franchises and players alike.

(I couldn’t help but be melodramatic in the introduction)

In all seriousness, what has transpired thus far in Andrew Luck’s career has been interesting to say the least.  At times, he’s operated the Colts offense at a savant like level while displaying otherworldly athleticism and talent in execution.  He took a team that finished 2-14 a season before his arrival to the playoffs his first season with the Colts, and progressed to the next round each of the following two seasons.  Coming into 2015, many pundits selected the Colts to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl–which was insanely idiotic–mostly because of the talent Andrew Luck brought to the table.

The Colts totally flopped last season and Luck was pounded into the ground by opposing defenses. When you suffer from a lacerated spleen, thats indicative of how fucking hard you got hit.  The Colts hapless offensive line did nothing to protect Luck, although we can’t completely absolve him of all wrong doing.  Luck began forcing a TON of throws last season, scrambling for his life and taking a lot of unnecessary hits in order to keep plays alive.  Case in point:

luck-clobbered-denver

There is no question in my mind that Andrew Luck is the most talented quarterback prospect to come out of college since Peyton Manning.  All things being equal, he is in the top 5 for most talented quarterbacks in the NFL from a physical standpoint, and having an architectural degree from Stanford answers the question about what goes on between his ears.  Where things begin to go south for the Ivy League of the West product is the team that has been put around him.

For starters, he has never had a quality running back, ever.  No Marshawn Lynch.  No Giovani Bernard or Jeremy Hill.  No Alfred Morris. No Jonathan Stewart.  Not even the Ladanian Tomlinson/Shonn Greene combination that buoyed the Mark Sanchez-led Jets offense.  Doesn’t it speak volumes about my opinions on the Colts team that they are below a bar set by something Mark Sanchez related?  Yes, completely; sadly, the Colts have been blessed by the presence of Donald Brown, Ahmad Bradshaw (the version with 100 screws in his foot), Dan Herron and *drum roll* Trent Richardson!  Holy fucking shit, that is truly of a who’s who of who! Look at this stable of running backs from 2014:

screen-shot-2016-10-02-at-8-21-31-pm

I’ll get to the addition of father time later as it pertains to the Colts foolish additions.

Secondly, their defense has been atrocious.  They’ve finished 28th, 22nd, 9th and 27th in total defense during Lucks tenure.  Wonder which of those finishes is the outlier?  They’ve relied upon players like Bjoern Werner, Ricky Jean-Francois and Erik Walden to compliment Robert Mathis as edge rushers.  Guess how that’s gone.  BAD.  Outside of Vontae Davis, the Colts secondary has not been anything to get excited about.  In keeping with the theme of statistical finishes of years past, the Colts defense is hot out of the futile gates this season, falling behind 21-3, 23-13 and 23-6 in all of their losses.  If you want to know why Andrew Luck forces throws, extends plays and takes a lot of hits, look know further than the track meet he’s asked to participate in on a weekly basis.  Even if Andrew Luck were a 97 rating in Madden, the rest of his team is about a 70.

Compared to the other quarterbacks entering the league around the same time who have enjoyed success, Luck has had a putrid team placed around him, and even worse coaching.  What do Russell Wilson, Andy Dalton, and Cam Newton all have in common?  Their organizations put sensational players around them, and stabilized their respective rosters with great coaching.  John Schneider, Dave Gettleman and Mike Brown build their teams through the drafts and retain that talent, while Pete Carroll, Marvin Lewis and Ron Rivera coach the SHIT out of those players.  Is it any surprise that a majority of the assistant coaches to come through those programs now run teams of their own?  Shout out to Sean McDermott and Mike Shula, two of the top three head coaching candidates.

Russell Wilson is backed by the Legion of Boom, just the NFL’s best scoring defense EVERY YEAR since 2012.  Dave Gettleman built a defensive front seven in Carolina that consists of Kawaan Short, Charles Johnson, Star Lotulelei, Thomas Davis, Luke Keuchly and Shaq Thompson to back number one overall pick Cam Newton.  I could rattle off a similar list of studs for Cincinnati’s defense, but that would just be reduna–

Geno Atkins, Carlos Dunlap, Rey Maleluga, Michael Johnson, Domata Peko, Vontaze Burfict, Vincent Rey YOU SEE WHERE I’M GOING WITH THIS!

Let’s check in with the Indianaoplis Colts draft prospects from 2012 to 2015.

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screen-shot-2016-10-02-at-9-45-02-pm

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FYI the Colts are without any player from the 2013 draft class on their team.  That is absolutely fucking absurd (the Giants are in the same boat with their 2012 class).

Additionally, these teams understand the importance of protecting their franchise quarterbacks with a stout offensive line and/or a running game. Cincinnati has one of the best offensive lines in football, built through years of solid drafting.  Cedric Ogbuehi, Clint Boling and Kevin Zeitler have all been acquired to keep Dalton upright, while helping to pace a running game along with Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill (SHOCKER: both also home grown products).  Indianapolis has totally neglected Andrew Luck in both aspects.  As mentioned before, the biggest acquisition that had Jim Irsay putting down the bottle to tweet was Trent Richardson, which worked out as well as the rest of Richardsons’ career.  I guess Irsay’s misplaced enthusiasm for the Colts rubbed off on pundits when many of them picked the Colts for last seasons Super Bowl.  Remind me which of these acquisitions was going to take a team that lost 45-7 in the previous seasons’ playoffs to the promised land?

screen-shot-2016-10-02-at-10-24-33-pm

A team with a huge offensive line issue went out and acquired someone from the Saskatchewan Roughriders to remedy the issue.  Anyone still wondering why Andrew Luck had a lacerated kidney last season?  In lieu of acquiring true talent upfront to protect the franchise and promote a stronger run game, the Colts decided to take a trip over the hill to get Andre Johnson and shuttled Frank Gore from his Bristol assisted living home.

The fact is simply this: Andrew Luck’s career is being ruined by being on the Indianapolis Colts.  Their ownership is putrid, their management is putrid, their coaching is putrid.  They wasted the high-value years of his rookie contract by tying money into human farts and draft picks in busts.  And to think, this is all because Peyton Manning suffered a debilitating neck-injury in 2011.  If Manning has his standard season in 2011, the Colts pick anywhere between 24-32, and Andrew Luck’s rights probably end up mercifully belonging to Cleveland.  Indianapolis needs to clean fucking house and bring in leadership who values Luck for what he is: a PHENOM.  The NFL is a copycat league, and the Colts would be wise to follow the blueprint that has led to sustained success for franchises with QB centerpieces similar to Luck in role, but no where near the same level of talent King Neckbeard has.

PS-

This guy is such a loser.

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