Last night the Pro Bowl rosters were announced, and T.Y. Hilton and Pat McAfee are the Colts players initially selected to play in the game. The Colts didn’t have many players in the first place deserving of consideration, but one player in particular seemed to get snubbed: quarterback Andrew Luck.
We wrote about it last night mentioning how he was snubbed, and we’re not alone in that feeling either. Luck is Pro Football Focus’s second-highest rated quarterback overall this year, so they obviously think he deserves a spot in the Pro Bowl. PFF’s Michael Renner wrote an article today mentioning the top Pro Bowl snubs, and Luck was one of them. Here’s what Renner wrote:
Snub: Andrew Luck, QB, Colts
Should replace: Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers
Luck and Roethlisberger make for a great case study because they currently have the exact same number of passing attempts (476). It’s Luck, though, that has more yards and touchdowns with fewer interceptions. Even beyond that, Luck is having to do far more on his own. The Colts’ offensive line is 31st in pass-blocking efficiency this season, while the Steelers’ is third. 61.3 percent of Luck’s yards have come through the air, compared to 56.9 for Roethlisberger (meaning Pittsburgh receivers are doing more after the catch). Grade wise, it’s no comparison, as Luck is second overall in PFF’s system, while Roethlisberger is currently 18th for the 2016 season.
Whether or not you agree with PFF’s grades, they have a point: Luck has a very, very good case to be ahead of Ben Roethlisberger if you’re going by anything other than name recognition. As PFF noted, both Luck and Roethlisberger have attempted 476 passes, so it’s pretty easy to compare the two. Luck has completed 303 of them (63.7%), Roethlisberger has completed 304 of them (63.9%). Luck has thrown for 3,631 yards (7.6 yards per attempt), Roethlisberger has thrown for 3,540 yards (7.4 yards per attempt). Luck has thrown 27 touchdowns, Roethlisberger has thrown 26. Luck has thrown 10 interceptions, Roethlisberger has thrown 11. Luck has a passer rating of 97.1, Roethlisberger has a passer rating of 94.9. Luck has rushed for 312 yards and a touchdown (5.5 yards per attempt), Roethlisberger has rushed for 15 yards and a touchdown (1.0 yards per attempt).
When looking at it that way, there’s honestly no case to be made for Roethlisberger over Luck besides for the wins (which isn’t a quarterback stat) and the name recognition. Roethlisberger is a future Hall of Famer with multiple Super Bowl rings and is one of the top players at his position in the NFL, but this year Luck has been better. And that’s not to mention the fact that Roethlisberger is playing with a better supporting cast, too.
As we’ve mentioned before, Luck may very well wind up making the Pro Bowl as an alternate, but he should have made the roster in the first place. PFF agrees, as they included Luck among their top Pro Bowl snubs this year.