The best quarterback in the NFL today is the Packers' Aaron Rodgers. The reigning MVP, there's not much doubt about Rodgers being at the top of the order when it comes to quarterbacking in the league today.
But who's number two after Aaron Rodgers? That was the question poised to a panel of NFL.com writers and analysts a few days ago, and it basically turned into a debate of which one was better between the Patriots' Tom Brady and the Colts' Andrew Luck. Gil Brandt, Dan Hanzus, and Marc Sessler all took Luck, while Gregg Rosenthal and Charlie Casserly took Brady. This wasn't a debate about one being good and the other being bad, rather it was a debate of which one was better. And if you go by the consensus of those analysts who were a part of this debate, Andrew Luck is the NFL's second-best quarterback.
Andrew Luck and Tom Brady are both very bright, and of course Brady is light years more accomplished, including in this past postseason, when his Patriots easily dispatched Luck's Colts in the AFC title game en route to winning Super Bowl XLIX. But Luck has the stronger arm, and he's a better athlete, in terms of his ability to move around without getting trapped or sacked. Brady has the edge in intangibles, but Luck isn't far behind -- and, crucially, Luck is 12 years younger, which is ultimately why I'd put him ahead of Brady in that No. 2 slot right now.
The bottom line is, Luck did more with a very average football team than anybody else in the NFL last season. He's a young guy who has the mental toughness and tools necessary to be a superstar for the foreseeable future.
Give me Andrew Luck. He's the only quarterback in the league today who has the ability and upside to match Aaron Rodgers' current level of greatness. In fact, if you gave Luck the Packers' coaching staff and cast of playmakers, I'm not sure he wouldn't rival Rodgers' production right now.
A major goal for the Colts this offseason is to address the middling cast around their dynamic young passer. If they do, don't be surprised if it's Luck who's collecting MVP hardware the night before the Super Bowl.
Before we go crowning Aaron Rodgers, how about taking a moment to recognize Tom Brady? The man just won his fourth Super Bowl with far less talent on offense than the Packers house.
OK, that said, Brady's brilliant, career-capping moment doesn't make him today's top quarterback. Or even No. 2. Behind Rodgers, I have to go with Andrew Luck. He has all the trappings of a rockstar passer set to rule the league for another 15 years. The build, the arm, the leadership, the obsessive desire to win -- it's all there. Colts fans have gone from one pile of riches to the next in traveling from Peyton Manning to Luck. The latter has a chance to be even better than the former.
Tom Brady just won his fourth Super Bowl and is one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, but the signal caller in Indianapolis is pretty dang good as well, and he's just beginning his career. Everyone realizes that Luck is the future of the NFL, but he's also the present of the NFL. In 2014, he broke a Colts franchise record and finished third in the league with 4,761 passing yards and led the NFL in passing touchdowns with 40. And a common theme that you will find among fans and analysts alike is that the Colts' team wasn't overly talented but that Luck helped an average team overachieve. Many people have said that there are really two quarterbacks in the league that could do what Luck did in 2014, and those two quarterbacks are Luck himself and Aaron Rodgers. It makes sense, then, that many would say that Luck is already the second best quarterback in the entire NFL behind Rodgers.
Do you agree that Andrew Luck is the NFL's second best quarterback behind Aaron Rodgers?