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Does Andrew Luck Need To Beat The Patriots Today To Be Considered “Elite”?

Submitted by on January 18, 2015 – 1:40 pmNo Comment

During the 2014-15 NFL regular season, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck was, hands down, one of the best quarterbacks in the entire league. He ranked third overall in total passing yards with 4,761. He ranked first in touchdown passes with 40. And his passer rating was 96.5, good for seventh in the league behind guys like Tony Romo, Aaron Rodgers, and Peyton Manning. But despite the stats that Luck put up this year—and despite the stats he’s put up the last three years—there are still plenty of people who aren’t ready to throw Luck’s name into the “elite” category just yet. They think that he needs to do one more thing to be considered the cream of the crop when it comes to NFL QBs—he needs to win a game of real importance.

Last week’s win over Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos was certainly a start for Luck. After knocking off the Cincinnati Bengals in the Wild Card Round of the NFL Playoffs, Luck led his team to a tough road win in Denver. But this weekend will be the true test of how far he’s come as a quarterback. Last season, Luck was absolutely awful against the New England Patriots in the playoffs. He threw several interceptions and just didn’t look like a guy who should have been throwing passes on the same field as Tom Brady. But this year, Luck appears to be a much better QB. So at the very least, he should keep the Colts/Patriots AFC Championship Game game competitive.

Even if Luck doesn’t win, though, it’s time to start mentioning his name amongst the names of the league’s great quarterbacks. He may not have a Super Bowl ring just yet. But without a strong running game this season, Luck has kept the Colts in games and set all kinds of benchmarks for himself that make him worthy of being called “elite.” He has also moved the Colts one step closer to being a great team. And isn’t that what an “elite” QB should do?

If and when the Colts make a Super Bowl and if and when they win one, Luck will move into another tier of quarterbacks. But even without a Super Bowl ring, Luck is obviously too talented to leave out of the “elite” discussion. So even if he doesn’t win today against New England, it’s clear that his time has come. And it’s time for all of us to accept it.

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