The biggest shock of the NFL season just took place, and the craziest part about it is that the season just got started. The franchise quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts Andrew Luck has decided to retire and vows never to play the game of football ever again. Honestly, this has been a reaction to the iffy protection that Andrew Luck has received throughout his career playing for the Colts. Nonetheless, his actions came as a surprise to every NFL fan not just the core fans of the Colts organization considering the fact that the season just kicked off.
The shock factor is still surrounding the entire league because the fairly youthful quarterback still looks like he has plenty of gas left in the tank for this season and then some. He has a solid 7 years of experience under his belt as the debate when he first came into the league heavily surrounded Luck and Robert Griffin III’s potential and production. Now at this point and time in both of their careers, they both are basically out of commission. However, it would be an insult to Luck if I were to say that he did not outplay his draftmate Griffin in both of their playing days. Even though I am a Redskins fan, Luck has made it to the postseason numerous times with eight games of experience overall finishing his career 4-4 in the playoffs ultimately never making it to the finish line of the Super Bowl. His counterpart RG3 in contrast only had one playoff appearance back with the Washington Redskins in 2012 making an early-round exit in the first round of the postseason at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks.
In comparison though, the two quarterbacks have now both suffered enough pain and injury to make one want to give up the game throughout their playing days. Granted RG3’s downward spiral happened a lot sooner, so it was more for him to accomplish with less of a chance to succeed due to his injury problems. Of course, after this career-threatening injury began the end to Griffin’s legacy. On the other side of things, Luck has brought his franchise and fans to the playoffs several times. With that being said, can the fans of the Colts franchise really be upset at the fact that their quarterback wants to hang up the cleats after many seasons of repeated abuse and injury capable sacks behind that suspect offensive line?
I ask this question because I have seen some fans of the Colts do things such as making fun of the Pro Bowler for being “soft”. I myself believe that there is no reason to attack him after the success he provided for the team, even though he never got to the Super Bowl like previous quarterbacks that he had to follow behind. In regards to the prior quarterback who is in the upper echelon and considered as one of the best to ever play in Peyton Manning, Luck falls short. But disregarding that, it is still apparent that Luck has made his footprints in the Colts franchise and nobody can say he is not a good quarterback.
As I digress though it can not be ignored that durability goes a long way in the National Football League. So, with regard to the conversation of the best, Luck sadly falls through the cracks. If people were arguing over who was greater between Luck and Cam Newton, Newton would win the debate. Newton has endured countless devastating tackles playing for the Carolina Panthers, mainly because he scrambles out the pocket and earns his team some extra yards when the pocket collapses. Not saying that Luck isn’t capable of doing the same thing, but it would be ridiculous to say he does it better. Going back to what I previously stated about durability, the point that Newton came into the League a year previous to Luck and is going into his eighth season with a super bowl appearance on his resume is even more of an attribute. Now I know that there is a point you could make saying that Newton has been in the league longer. Barring that, it still turns into a plus for Newton because he has been more reliable than Luck, even with coming into the league a year prior to Luck.
This is why I stress that availability is one of the most important things in the professional football league. This is a prime example, because the Panthers have somebody at quarterback who they know is capable of getting them to the next level. The Colts have a decent option in Jacoby Brissett, who threw for 3,098 yards back in 2017. Yet only threw for 2 yards in 2018 after being under Luck the previous season. So can you really vest that much trust into him? It isn’t like he has made it this far in his career as a player such as Luck or Newton\’s caliber, but it will be fun to see where his talents can take him and his squad as he looks like the heavy favorite to start.