We all know now how it turned out, but in retrospect, Luck was THE everything, and Carolina was in line to draft it's first franchise QB since that other guy back in the day, who didn't really work out. (Sorry Kerry, you were before your time). That was until he decided to stay in school, get a degree, be the campus stud, etc. So i will do some weekly stat check comparisons from Newtons rookie campaign to Luck's for fun just to see how things could have turned out. Don't hate because you think i'm dissing #1, because i'm happy with how things turned out, this is just for fun, and something different.
The Panthers blessed or curse had the #1 pick of the draft, and Luck was going to be our savior. That was until he decided School was more fun, or he just didnt want to play for the Panther. Whatever the truth is, he was off the board. Pre-draft, no one thought the Panthers should select Cam except for the Panthers front office, but who else was going to turn our franchise around? Blaine Gabbert (Thankfully not)? A shiny new beast of a DT? AJ Green (Who would get him the ball? Patrick Peterson? (Who would play offense?) . We all know how that choice turned out, and fans rejoice when #1 walks onto the field. He's charismatic, 6'5 250, can run/throw, and he helped talk Smith into retiring a Panther. Not bad for a guy who was labeled a bust by many of the talking heads on TV before he even got his uniform. Good thing they don't work in the front office.
A year later, the Colts seem to be torn between the future King of the NFL and the Legend of the past that was Peyton Manning. Will he be back to form, will he make it a whole season, will he restructure his contract??? In the end, the Colts decided to roll the dice and hope Luck is as good as advertised. After the jump, we'll see how the two QB's faired in their first preseason action in the NFL.
Cam Newton had a shaky start to his career by going 8 of 19 for 134 yards. Nothing special to warm the fans hearts other than the fact he didn't look rattled in the pocket, had a cannon for an arm, and he wasn't Jimmy Clausen. It was a good outing considering he didn't throw any INT's, and noting that with the lockout, he had no training camp or contact with the coaches until it was time to put up or shut up. No one was sure if it was enough to take the starting job over, as newley acquired veteran Derek Anderson looked good in his short amount of playing time, and even teh Jimmeh showed flashes of being a competent QB. In the end, it was a "meh" debut for the 1 year super wonder from Auburn, but some were excited at the velocity of his passes compared to QB's past, his mobility, and the way he looked in the pocket, plus Anderson going 3/4 for 71 yards and a TD looked capable enough to let him sit and learn a year if needed.
Andrew Luck's hype skyrocketed after his first NFL pass went for a 63 yard TD. Of course he only actually threw the ball about 4 yards, and Donald Brown turned it to gold. Luck was under intense pressure, but was composed enough to spot his RB and get the ball out before the play was busted. Not a bad way to kick off a career while trying to fill HOF sized shoes. Luck went on to prove that his game was as good as everyone thought it was going 10/16 for 188 yards and 2 td's. Sure it's the first game of the preseason, and sure it was against the Rams, but his passes were crisp and on target, he showed good pocket awareness, and he's mobile enough to pick up yards with his feet if needed. When the day was over, Luck broke the hype meter, and Canton started renevating to accomodate the life size statue that will be placed upon his retirement. Ok, maybe not yet, but the kid owned his preseason debut like a boss, and made Colts fans forget about some guy who used to play for them in a #18 jersey. At least for the week anyway...
Preseason week 1 winner - Andrew Luck