Poppen Off on AFC Championship QBs
Trying to compare Tom Brady to Andrew Luck is about the equivalent of trying to compare a Lamborghini to a Ferrari.
In other words, both are sexy as hell (I mean that in the most professional-football way possible), and both are extremely rare. Elite level franchise quarterbacks are a dying breed, which makes this AFC Championship game all that more exciting.
Fans get to watch a veteran and future Hall of Famer still playing at a peak level, and a guy who at age 25 is already one of the best five quarterbacks in the game today.
Below I will compare these two fantastic QBs, and dive into what makes them both the same, but different at the same time.
Path to the League
The story of what Tom Brady went through just to become an NFL starting quarterbacks is something you typically see in a Hollywood script. Andrew Luck on the other hand was groomed from his early days in college to become the next great NFL QB.
Being selected with 199th overall pick in the 2000 NFL Draft, Brady had an uphill climb ahead of him to get this where he is today, and it took an injury to long-time Patriots’ QB Drew Bledsoe for him to prove that he belonged on an NFL football field.
Luck was basically handed the Colts’ starting job on a silver platter being selected with the first overall pick in the 2012 Draft. Brady is proof that you can indeed find a gem late in the draft, while Luck is just one of those rare talents where you could tell he was destined for NFL stardom the moment he walked onto the field at Stanford.
Doing More With Less
Tom Brady has been to the Super Bowl five times throughout his 13-year NFL career, and has three championship rings to show for it. With the exception on Randy Moss and maybe Wes Welker in his prime, Brady has never really had any stand out weapons in the passing game, and in that same breath has never even had a strong running game to fall back on.
The guys Brady has played with have been made better by No. 12 being on the field, not the other way around. And that is trait that I feel like he and Luck both share.
Looking at this Colts roster, there is no way in hell this team should be playing for a trip to the Super Bowl this season. The offensive line has tried more than once to get him killed, and his running backs both began the season not even on an NFL roster. Elevating the play of those around you is one of the biggest traits a franchise quarterback must have, and these guys have it in spades.
Arm for an Arm
If you held a gun to my head (Please don’t actually do that), and forced me to pick the arm of one of these quarterbacks I would take Luck.
The guy just has a cannon for an arm, while Brady is more of an extremely ‘accurate from the pocket’ type of arm. What makes Luck’s arm strength so impressive is his ability to chuck the ball 60 yards down the field while scrambling away from pressure.
There are just some throws that Luck can make that Brady cannot. Does that make his a better quarterback? No, but it does make him a better passer, especially from outside of the pocket.
Defenses know that if you want to rattle Brady the key is to get pressure right up the middle of the field and force him out of his pocket of a comfort zone. Trying that with Luck is not so simple. This amazing young quarterback can shrug off would-be tacklers with the best of them, all while keeping his eyes focused down the field.
Please do not drive yourself crazy trying to debate which of these two quarterbacks are “Better” when watching the AFC title game Sunday afternoon. Rather, enjoy the spectacle of watching one of the best to ever do it go up against the best young quarterback the game has seen since Peyton Manning.
We will not have many more chances to see the Brady versus Luck matchup, and I for one could not be more excited to see which guy can lead his to a conference championship title this weekend.