Is Colts Quarterback Andrew Luck the NFL’s Most Overrated Player?


It’s tough to label a guy heading into his second season as “overrated”, but in the case of Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, I think that label might be accurate.

Luck consistently gets mentioned in the same breath as guys like Colin Kaepernick, Russell Wilson and Robert Griffin III. All four led their teams to the playoffs during the 2012 season and many are expecting all four to do the same again in 2013.

One of those players, however, is not like the other. Andrew Luck statistically is not on the same level as the other three. Kaepernick, Wilson and Griffin all finished the season with passer ratings of 98.3 or higher. Wilson and Griffin both finished among the top five in the NFL in that category. Luck finished the season ranked No. 26 in terms of passer rating with a score of 76.5, slightly behind the 25th rated passer in the league, Blaine Gabbert.

Luck’s shortcomings don’t stop at passer rating. Taking a look at completion percentage, Kaepernick, Wilson and Griffin all completed at least 62 percent of their passes, with Wilson and Griffin finishing in the top ten in that category. Luck finished the year with a 54.1 completion percentage, landing him at No. 31 in the league, just behind Mark Sanchez who completed 54.3 percent of his passes.

Those who try to defend Luck might cite his total passing yards on the year, which is admittedly impressive if that’s all you look at. His 4,374 yards were good enough to land him at No. 7 in the league, trailing only Tom Brady, Tony Romo, Drew Brees, Matt Ryan, Peyton Manning and Matthew Stafford. The difference between Luck and those guys, however, was again the completion percentage. He finished at least five percentage points behind all of them and over ten percentage points behind four of them. He threw 44 more passes than Peyton Manning and still finished with nearly 300 less passing yards.

Basically, Andrew Luck threw for a lot of yards because he threw a lot of passes. That tends to happen.

It’s not as if Luck’s numbers are skewed by a learning curve where he gradually improved as the season went on. If anything, he got worse as the season progressed. Through the first eight games of the season, Luck completed over 56 perent of his passes, reaching the 60 percent mark three times and dipping below 50 percent just once. During the second half of the season and the playoff game against Baltimore, Luck completed only 51 percent of his throws — dipping below 50 percent in four of those games.

To put that in perspective, during the eight-game stretch in 2011 where Tim Tebow led Denver to a 7-1 record, Tebow’s completion percentage dipped below 50 percent five times.

Yesterday, I heard ESPN’s Colin Cowherd say that Andrew Luck was the reason the Colts went from being the worst team in the league to a playoff team. I must respectfully disagree. Although Luck did have some memorable moments and big plays during the season, the numbers tell me that the Colts, led by interim head coach Bruce Arians, turned around their fortunes despite the play of Andrew Luck as opposed to because of it.

BY J.P. SCOTT ON JUNE 28, 2013



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About J.P. Scott

Owner and editor of Know It All Football, contributor to and Member of the Football Writers Association of America.

14 thoughts on “Is Colts Quarterback Andrew Luck the NFL’s Most Overrated Player?

  1. Gary
    June 28, 2013 at 6:33 am

    I watched all of Andrews games last year on TV. Those other quarterbacks weren’t running for their life most of the time because they all had offensive lines that could play. The colts were horrible. Put those other quarterbacks behind Indy’s line and let’s see what their completion rate is!

  2. drew
    June 28, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    I love articles like this…wilson is on a killer team…loaded…just needed a qb….same to an extent with griffin…cap play for a team that just went to the super owl….hmmm….luck is on a bad colts team w no oline and they just cut half the team…keep cutting luck down….what is everyone to say next year when they stomp on people?

  3. Darin
    June 29, 2013 at 1:49 am

    I am a season ticket holder and have had the privilege to watch both Peyton and Andrew play for the Colts. I can understand your view point, but I feel like you may have left out a detail. In what I viewed and know of the game of football it usually takes 2 individuals to complete a pass and Mr. Andrew Luck had a lot of his balls dropped by recievers. I believe you will see a shorter passing scheme with the new offensive coordinator then what you witness with the bomb throwing offensive coordinator/coach of last year.

  4. WJC
    June 29, 2013 at 6:19 am

    Bad article. One season is not enough evidence upon which to call young players great or overrated. 26 TD’s 28 picks 56.7% completion average. Peyton Manning’s first year stats. Overrated?

  5. Joe
    June 29, 2013 at 8:50 am

    You see? This is why your stupid, first let me make sure it is very clear, that you are stupid, because you are. The ignorance coming from you is just gleaming, let me explain why. First of all, you obviously didn’t watch the games at all, you watched highlights maybe, but that is it. Because first things first, all 3 of those quarterbacks you named, have significantly better offensive lines then Luck, with Keapernick having probably the best offensive line in all of football. Secondly, all 3 of those quarterbacks you named, had a running back with at least 1200 yards rushing, and in the case of RG3 and Wilson, they each had a back of 1600 yards. Thirdly, all 3 of those quarterbacks you named, had a defense SIGNIFICANTLY better then the colts had. Fourthly, you are only looking at the numbers and thats a retarded thing to do, because the numbers dont tell you that most of Keapernick and RG3’s throws were under 5 yards, while Luck had to consistently throw the ball downfield, which will cause you to have a much smaller completion percentage. You would know this if you would of even looked at all the stats, however you were too lazy to do that, so let me drop some knowledge on ya. Andrew luck threw more balls of 20 plus yards, then any quarterback in the NFL last year, that makes your completion percentage go down, and your interceptions go up. Rg3 threw more passes then any nfl quarterback, under 5 yards last year. That makes your completion percentage go WAY up, and your interceptions go WAY DOWN. You know how stupid you are? You said he threw 44 more passes then Manning, and still finished 300 yards short of him. Do you even proof read your stuff before you push enter? Okay, you don’t clearly, because thats a fucking idiotic statment. Peyton Manning is probably the best quarterback of all time, still in the prime of his career. What? Because you throw more passes you should have more yards? Thats just dumb. That means peyton manning played with a lead, and andrew luck didn’t. THATS why you throw more passes. Which means the defense KNOWS your going to throw the ball, and he still did it. Passer rating means so fucking little its a joke. Do you even know how they come up with a passer rating? I GARRENTTEE YOU DONT. BUT HAVE NO FEAR, since you love passer rating so much, imma tell you how they come up with it. You start with the completion percentage, subtract 30 from that number, and then divide the remaining amount by 20. You go to yards per attempt, subtract 3, and then divide that number by 4. You then divide the number of touchdown passes, by passing attempts, and multiply that number by 20. You start with the number 2.375, and subtract from that, the interception percentage, which is Interceptions divided by passing attempts, then divide that number by 4. If any of these answers is above the number 2.375 then you immediately move it down to 2.375, and if any is below 0, you immediately move it up to 0. You then add all 4 of the numbers you will have come up with, multiply that by 100, and then divide the total by 6. THAT IS YOUR PASSER RATING…. that is what you hang your hat on, next time watch the fucking games before you speak

  6. mark
    June 29, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    I’m not sure Luck is the most overated QB but I do know who the most overated writer is.

  7. Larry
    June 29, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    Gee, JP Scott, you riled up Colt Nation. And all the responders have pointed out the subpar line play of the Colts vs. the other three quarterbacks you mentioned. One thing they didn’t point out was the Colts were coming off the NFL’s worse season, 2-14. The other thing given very little notice was the completely rebuilding of a team by the owner. New GM, new coach and coaching staff, and basically a new team. With the exception of Reggie Wayne, Antoine Bethea, Robert Mathis, Dwight Freeney and Adam Vinatieri, none of the starters played in the Super Bowl Team against New Orleans just a few years ago. In other words, the Colts were a rebuiding team that went to the playoffs against everybody’s predictions, including yours I’m assuming. Let’s see how these four quarterbacks play out in the next few years. I’ll take Andrew Luck over all of them.

  8. rick
    June 30, 2013 at 10:34 am

    It pretty clear you didn’t watch any of his games by the clueless comments you just wrote.If luck would have had a offensive line, a good defense and a 1000 yard running game like Wilson and griffin his stats would have been much higher. Both griffin and Wilson would have had much lower stats if they had played with the colts offensive line or had a receiver like avery that dropped 50% of the passes thrown to him!!

  9. James Coulthard
    July 1, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    As long as numbers are within a reasonable range, passer rating is equivalent to average yards per attempt–with a 20 yd bonus for a completion, an extra 80yd bonus for a TD–and a 100 point penalty for an interception. Add 0.5 to this number and then multiply by 100/24.

    The rating system pretty much assumes the QB is passing on 3rd and long–and that passes are always far enough down field to get a first down. Otherwise a 20 yd bonus for a completion is absurd.

    Using my simplified version of the system, the rating for an incomplete pass is 2.083. The rating for a completion for no yards, which is effectively the same, is 85.417. How crazy is that?

  10. Andrew
    August 18, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    This article is dead on. The writer didn’t even mention all of the interceptions. Second in the league. All hype…

  11. james
    September 8, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    You are a dume ass look at the team. he is on he was throwing the ball to roockies and had to run a lot to get the ball. out of his hands so do get sacked for a loss and was throwing bombs down filed wasit droping it off for a few yards and. letting. reciver pick up the yards. and Luck. was. asked to do more then the other qbs you have named and the and if you was a football fan you would knw that the passer rating is the most point less and worthless stat in the game dont tell you shit only people who dont knw the game lookes at that and say shit like you just did now if any of the qbs you named is over ratted is RG3

  12. Marko S.
    October 6, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    Are we talking about statistics winners or who’s the best quarterback?

    This is an easy one. Andrew Luck did the most with the least of any of the rookie starting quarterbacks. While other rookies were part of substantially sound teams Luck was saddled with a nonexistent defense, the worst pass blocking offensive line in the NFL and no running game not to mention having an interim head coach that forced a first year quarterback to attack NFL teams with a vertical passing offense. Of course Luck’s stats were down compared to the other quarterback who benefited from strong running games and no risk short range passing games. Despite all the handicaps Andrew Luck broke the all time passing yardage mark (4374) and the most fourth quarter comebacks by a rookie quarterback (7).

    Andrew Luck is not better than Russel Wilson, RGIII or Colin Kaepernick, , he’s better than all three put together.

  13. Brian
    August 7, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    This is either a joke, high school journalism assignment (which was flunked), or the unrivaled ravings of a truly unintelligent fantasy footballer that still lives in his parent’s basement. I certainly hope this is not your job… If it is fire yourself. If it’s a hobby, please in the chance that you might infect other readers with the stupidity virus, find a new one.

    1. admin
      August 8, 2014 at 9:35 am

      Thanks for the advice and thanks for reading! Also, this article is over a year old.