Symmetry? – Manning and Luck in game 35


Last Sunday, Andrew Luck had what has been called a “career day” against the worst team in the league right now. His Colts walloped the Jaguars for their first win of the season.

Since the start of the 2013 season, I’ve been keeping track of exactly how Luck compares to Manning at the same point in each of their careers. When updating for this week, I noted a few things their respective game 35s had in common.

  • Both games were against Jacksonville (though Manning was home and Luck was away).
  • Both were Colts wins: 43-14 in 2000 and 44-17 in 2014.
  • Both QBs threw 4 TDs and 0 INTs.
  • Both QBs were named Offensive Player of the Week after these games.
  • Both QBs passed the 9000 mark for career yardage.
  • The distribution of TD passes per quarter is the same: 1-2-0-1.

Maybe those aren’t remarkable coincidences–heaven forbid I go into Lincoln/Kennedy territory–but they’re worth pointing out. Here’s a look at the QB numbers from both games

Peyton Manning 23 36 63.89% 440 4 0 143.3
Andrew Luck 31 39 79.49% 370 4 0 140.4

Though their passer ratings were also similar, Manning had 70 more yards (Matt Hasselbeck produced 20 in relief of Luck halfway through the 4th quarter) and Luck had a much higher completion percentage, the highest of his career to date (Manning has topped 80% several times). It should also be noted that the 2000 game was actually played in week 4 of the season, but was still the third game for the Colts, who had a week 3 BYE.

Lastly, for those of you not keeping track at home, here is the career comparison of Manning and Luck after 35 games.

QB W L CMP ATT CMP% Yards Y/G TD INT AY/A Rating Playoffs
Peyton Manning 19 16 725 1212 59.82% 9027 257.91 61 44 6.82 84.62 0-1
Andrew Luck 23 12 768 1323 58.05% 9108 260.23 55 30 6.70 83.55 1-2

Those numbers are also very similar (except for those INTs). The question is, forgetting Manning’s future, who do you take?  Do you go with the guy who went 3-13 and then 13-3, or the guy who went 11-5 two years in a row, and managed a playoff victory? The correct answer is not “Russell Wilson.”

Receiving Corps Showdown! 2004 Colts vs. 2013 Broncos


After watching the Denver Broncos prevail over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday afternoon, with Peyton Manning throwing TDs #37-41 on the season (4 of them to Eric Decker), I thought back to Manning’s record breaking 2004 season with the Colts. A question came to my mind: as a QB, who would you rather have: Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne, Brandon Stokley and Dallas Clark OR Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, Wes Welker and Julius Thomas?

With four games left in the 2013 season, it’s hard to know how the 10-2 Broncos will end up. The 2004 Colts went 12-4 and lost in the divisional round of the playoffs to the eventual Super Bowl Champion Patriots. Still, I think the question is worth exploring, if only to dive into some fun stats via Pro-Football-Reference and practice making tables in html.

Which team has the better receiving corps in their particular season, the 2004 Colts or the 2013 Broncos? It might be a moot point, or an apples/oranges situation considering the 9-year gap, plus the (projected) difference in pass attempts of 143 (in the Broncos’ favor). As usual, there are several other things that could factor in as well. Still, this is just for fun (and far from expert), so let’s dive in and see who has the edge. (Don’t forget to vote at the end). Continue reading