Found November 05, 2012 on
Fox Sports Midwest:
New York Jets
Green Bay Packers
San Diego Chargers
ST. LOUIS - There are lessons in a split. Peyton Mannings strong start with the Denver Broncos and Andrew Lucks rise in his rookie season with the Indianapolis Colts have proven this: A breakup can produce benefits for all involved sooner than expected.
Week 9 offered further signs that Manning and Luck have evolved in their new roles. Manning, dumped in Indianapolis after 14 seasons, led the Denver Broncos to their third consecutive victory by throwing for three touchdowns in beating the Cincinnati Bengals. Meanwhile, Luck, the Colts heartthrob of their post-Manning world, led Indianapolis to a third consecutive victory of its own by throwing for a rookie-record 433 yards in topping the Miami Dolphins.
This seems too eerie to be true. Consider how similar Manning and Luck are midway through the season: Both teams are 5-3 with postseason potential. Both quarterbacks have passed for 2,404 yards. Both leave others searching for ways to capture their impact in words, as if those who share a locker room with them are giddy admirers with a crush.
On Manning: "He's a great competitor," Denver wide receiver Brandon Stokley told reporters Sunday. "He is who he is, and it's what I've seen from him for 14 years."
On Luck: "The kid, he continues to amaze," Indianapolis wide receiver Reggie Wayne told reporters Sunday. "Hopefully I can help add on to his legacy that he's about to build."
Much remains to be seen what Manning and Luck will build, but the body of work is impressive so far. Both have shown that life doesnt end at a tearful goodbye news conference. Both have shown that moving beyond an era that produced 11 playoff berths, seven AFC South titles in eight years, four MVP awards, two AFC championships and one Super Bowl title was the right choice once emotion gave way to reason.
Among the proof: The Colts have positioned themselves as AFC contenders for the foreseeable future. Look, they lost something significant when owner Jim Irsay let Manning walk. The Colts lost a future Hall of Famer. They lost a player who made them relevant after many hollow seasons following their move from Baltimore in 1984. They lost a piece of their history.
But with the Stanford product, they have secured an insurance policy for the future. Luck, with 10 touchdowns and a passer rating of 79.0, has proven hes too skilled to have wasted this season as a clipboard gofer. It would have been unwise and unfair to Manning to draft Luck and let the rookie roam the sideline as a distraction. In that case, the Colts would have rivaled the New York Jets as the NFLs chief drama queen.
Sometimes, a clean break is necessary. The Colts long-term vision never included Manning, so moving on was appropriate.
Still, the start of Lucks learning curve has created opportunity for the 36-year-old. Manning is earning revenge the best way a jilted lover can: Hes thriving without his former flame.
His numbers are surprising, considering he sat out last season with a severe neck injury. He has thrown for at least 300 yards five times. He has 20 touchdowns with six interceptions. He leads the NFL with a passer rating of 108.6. He makes Tim Tebows legacy in the Rocky Mountains look laughable in comparison.
Manning brings to mind Brett Favre in 2009. That season, the 40-year-old carried the Minnesota Vikings to the NFC Championship Game, while the Green Bay Packers slouched at home after the Arizona Cardinals whipped them in the wild card round. Like Favre then, Manning has proven that the Great Ones are relentless in trying to outrun Father Time.
It doesnt always happen this way though. In 1973, Johnny Unitas only threw for 471 yards in five games with the San Diego Chargers after 17 seasons with the Baltimore Colts. In 1977, Joe Namath only threw for 606 yards in four games with the Los Angeles Rams after 12 seasons with the Jets.
Were witnessing something uncommon. We're witnessing one future Hall of Famer remake himself as his former franchise does the same.
Still, its too early to declare a winner in the Manning-Colts split. Both received fresh starts, both are energized, both have no reason to look back and regret a parting of ways. That's business, after all. That's life.
The Colts made a calculated choice, a decision that delivered the franchise one of the best young quarterbacks in recent memory. The result: They have moved into the future and will be stronger for it.
Meanwhile, Manning has reinvented himself under the watch of John Elway, the Broncos executive vice president of football operations. He remains driven without Lucks presence serving as a psychological ball and chain. The result: He has moved into the future and will be stronger for it.
Two quarterbacks. One breakup.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
You can follow Andrew Astleford on Twitter @aastleford or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
The Indianapolis Colts closed out the first half of their 2012 season with a 23-20 win over the Miami Dolphins. The win moved their record to a remarkable 5-3 and gave them the inside track for an AFC Wild Card. With half the season in the books it's time for the Colts to receive their midterm report card. I'll be handing out grades for each unit, each individual starter...
The Colts are in the playoff hunt after three straight wins, and with a favorable schedule the rest of the way, have a decent chance at a one year successful rebuild.
The win comes on the shoulders of the entire team, but some players certainly had better games than others. But which ones had the better games? Which ones fell off the horse? We'll look at three players on offense...
As if the AFC game of the week couldn't get more confusing, it looks like Donald Brown, now listed as questionable, is probably not going to play against Miami due to swelling in his knee. Robert Mathis has been confirmed, however; good new for the Colts. I'm not overly concerned about Brown; we need him next week, and Ballard's done a good job filling in for him (along...
On scenic West 56st St in Indianapolis, the Colts spoke with the media Monday as they prepared for their Thursday night showdown with division rival Jacksonville. Bruce Arians and the players discussed Chuck Pagano, the offensive line, the upcoming matchup and more. Quotes and information are provided courtesy of the Indianapolis Colts Public Relations Department.
Andrew Luck is his own harshest critic.
One day after breaking Cam Newton's single-game record for yards passing, the rookie quarterback gave himself a midterm grade of C - even though this has been no average season.
Luck has already won five games, two more than Peyton Manning did in his first NFL season. He's on pace to shatter the NFL single season rookie records for...
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck celebrates as he leaves the field following an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins in Indianapolis, Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012. The Colts won 23-20. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Few outside the locker rooms of the Colts and Dolphins expected this to be a game between potential playoff contenders. At 4-3, each team coming off short...
INDIANAPOLIS - It looks like Andrew Luck needed only half a season to establish himself as a worthy successor to Peyton Manning. Luck completed 30 of 48 passes for 433 yards and two touchdowns in the Colts' 23-20 win over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium. The 433 yards set an NFL rookie record. Cam Newton had set the record with 432 yards last season. "...
Photo Courtesy: @mattoverton_ls
It's impossible not to respect Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano, his battle with leukemia and his team rallying around him.
Pagano was diagnosed a little over a month ago and has been undergoing a heavy dose of chemotherapy while on leave from his job.
And the good news, Monday his doctors told him the...
Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano is currently battling leukemia. He is of course on indefinite leave from the team to take care of his health and deal with something so much larger than NFL football. He took a break from his chemotherapy to address his team postgame.
They just beat the Miami Dolphins. #Chuckstrong!
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official...
Andrew Luck and Ryan Tannehill put on a memorable show for Chuck Pagano on Sunday.
The rookie quarterbacks traded jab for jab, hook for hook and TD pass for TD pass. When the duel finally ended, it was Luck who had the records - and another win for his ailing coach.
Luck threw for 433 yards and two TD passes, breaking Cam Newton's single-game passing record (422 yards) for...
UPDATE: Several sources are now reporting that Donald Brown will sit this week.
Donald Brown, RB, Indianapolis Colts vs. Miami Dolphins
Beginning to emerge from the large shadow cast by Robert Griffin III, dynamic quarterback Andrew Luck delivered a record-setting performance while leading the Colts to a 23-20 victory over the Miami Dolphins yesterday at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana. … Continue reading →
When you are drafted with the first overall pick in the NFL draft there is going to be hype surrounding you. Andrew Luck is living up to that hype and exceeding it. On Sunday afternoon he showed just how good he is.Luck completed 30-48 passes for a rookie record 433 yards and two touchdowns as the Indianapolis Colts came from behind to defeat the Miami Dolphins. Luck out performed...