FanPost

Andrew Luck Quarterback Rivalry


Everyone who is an NFL fan knows of or remembers the rivalry between Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. Starting in 2001 on September 30th and ending epicly with one last win over Brady in the AFC Championship game in 2015. There is no denying that this rivalry is one of the greatest between two quarterbacks and quite frankly two teams in NFL history. The rivalry between the Colts and Patriots still prevails today, though with Bradys retirement coming inevitably in the next few years and with it the Patriot dynasty’s decline, one has to wonder if the rivalry will ever be as heated as it was in the Manning era. So the question is, will Andrew Luck and his Colts team have a rivalry?

Well, if you want to look at divisional rivalries, then Blake Bortles and Marcus Mariota are the two players that jump out as legit possible rivals. However, neither of those quarterbacks play for teams that have had recent success or are necessarily poised for any success in the future. I understand the hype this past offseason, but the Titans and Jaguars both combined for only 7 wins last season, while the Colts and Texans had 17. So we can look at other divisions in the AFC. Lets start with maybe the best division in football, the AFC North. There is really only one legitimate young starting quarterback in this division and that’s Andy Dalton. While the stupidly dubbed "Red Rifle" is overrated, he does have talent and plays with a superb supporting cast that has had very much playoff success in past years, oh wait no! But anyway, the Bengals are a franchise that has had done well in the past few years, though there is by no means any guarantee that they will continue that success, or win a playoff game. The Steelers are a team loaded with talent on offense and adding young, talented players to their defense. And while Big Ben is old, maybe the Steelers will find another prodigious talent. While the chances aren’t great, I feel the Steelers can deepen their rivalry with the Colts and give Andrew Luck a hated nemesis.

Lets take a trip to the AFC East, where there isn’t much promise for future rivalries though there is a Pro Bowler in Tyrod Taylor. I’d put it at two talented young signal callers in Taylor and Ryan Tannehill, though neither hasn’t played as well or for long enough to merit a guarantee of future success or even mediocrity. It is also important to note that said passers don’t play for franchises with a recent chain of success. Still, Andrew Luck might have a combatant in these two. Let’s go lastly to maybe the most likely of rivals. Were looking at Derek Carr and the AFC West. The Raiders are a team on the rise, and no one can dispute that. The question is how good will they get and how quickly? But a team, or an offense at least, will only go as far as the quarterback can take them. But for a quarterback to be successful, he needs to have a good supporting cast, as was obvious with Andrew Luck and the Colts last year. So, does Derek Carr have enough support from his offense? Well, his offensive line is one of the best in the league, so he definitely has that going for him. How is his running game? Well, Latavius Murray did make a Pro Bowl in 2015, but he is misused by the coaching staff and not a great back overall. His receivers are pretty good, and Amari Cooper will be the Robin to his Batman for the foreseeable future.

So now, we can look at other potential rivals from the AFC West, a division loaded with good teams and talented young arms. Lets start with Alex Smith. While he and his team benefitted from one of the leagues best defenses, the addition of Jeremy Maclin helped the Cheifs DEAD passing game. I mean, Jamaal Charles led the team in receiving from 2008 to 2015. 8 years! So, with Alex Smith being just average for the majority of his career, and in his prime right now, he doesn’t look like a likely suitor to duel with Andrew Luck over the next decade.

Paxton Lynch was just taken with the 26th pick in the draft by the Broncos. While not very polished and lacking many qualities of a starting caliber QB, he is on the best team in the NFL and is poised to have the most help out of any of these young quarterbacks. Battling him in the playoffs would be fun and it has an alright chance of happening.

While there are 7 quarterbacks that I’ve included as possible rivals from within the Conference, you never know who will spring up like Tom Brady did back in 2001. Regardless of who, if any quarterback challenges Luck and the Colts for supremacy of the AFC over the next 8-10 years, it will always be fun to root for the Blue and White. Go Colts!

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Stampede Blue's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Stampede Blue's writers or editors.