A little over a year ago Peyton Manning was sitting on the sidelines still in Indianapolis Colt attempting to recover from painful neck surgery. Manning did his best to give advice to back-up quarterback Curtis Painter, who in all respect is probably a painter at this point in time considering we all know how well he was able to lead the disastrous Indy squad last year. At the same time, Andrew Luck was still a young college quarterback playing for Stanford University with the hopes and dreams of being an NFL prospect lying on his shoulders. Fast forward to today and who could have fathomed where these two dynamic signal callers would have ended up? Manning is now chucking pigskins in the Mile High City while Luck was selected 1st overall in the NFL draft to none other than Manning’s former Indy squad. Now, 10 weeks into the 2012 season, both quarterbacks have led their team’s to a 6-3 record. This begs to question which quarterback would you rather have leading your team? The wiry veteran or the young-gun rookie?
Manning, who at this point has been labeled the savior of the Broncos franchise, has been just as good as he was in his hey-day with the Colts. It was hard to understand why Indy showed Manning the door in the first place, but now obviously Jim Irsay, the Colts owner, wanted a new young talent to revive his franchise and get them back to being among the AFC elite. That happened when the Colts earned the first pick in the 2012 NFL draft, electing to go with the pocket-passing Andrew Luck instead of the scrambling rocket launcher Robert Griffin III. It would seem to some that this could have been a mistake, while others are relishing the fact that the Colts now have their next franchise quarterback for the next ten or so years.
In the Rocky Mountains however, the Vice President of Football Operations, John Elway made sure that when the Denver Broncos courted Peyton Manning, they did it in style. Manning, upon being released from the Colts, had several teams vying for his services. But Elway made it his goal to acquire the future Hall of Famer to lead his Broncos to glory. Manning replaced the magical Tim Tebow as the starting quarterback, with Tebow being shipped to New York. Thus far, Manning has proven that even with age and with a year of sitting on the bench holding a clipboard recovering from an injury, that he can still play the game of football. Manning has already tossed a whopping 2,705 yards and 21 touchdowns this season. He’s only thrown 6 picks and has a quarterback rating of 108. Numbers don’t lie and Manning’s play hasn’t been shy of phenomenal so far this season. It would appear the former Colt has revived another team featuring the stallion symbol.
In the Midwest however, Andrew Luck had his work cut out for him being the new man in town to begin the 2012 season. Thus far, Luck has brought his name and game to the city of Indianapolis and has proven that he is more than capable of replacing the future Hall of Famer. This year Luck has passed for 2,631 yards, with 10 touchdowns, 9 interceptions and a quarterback rating of 79. These numbers might not seem that impressive, but under the surface, Luck is still a rookie searching for his wings. He’s had his fair share of phenomenal games this season, and even a few games where he’s struggled. But what Andrew Luck has taken upon himself this season is being a leader of a team that desperately needed one.
Overall, both franchises sit at 6-3 with their new quarterbacks so far this season. Both teams look like mighty contenders for the postseason going into the final five or six weeks of the year and with both men under center for their respective teams, the sky’s the limit. Who knows maybe it will be Manning vs. Luck come time for the playoffs? Who would you rather have as your leader? The argument is on the table.