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Who is having the better season, Peyton Manning or Andrew Luck?

November 05, 2012
  • Denver's Peyton Manning, left, and Indianapolis' Andrew Luck have each thrown for 2,404 yards for their 5-3 teams.
Denver's Peyton Manning, left, and Indianapolis' Andrew Luck… (Andy Lyons, Frederick Breedon…)

Writers from around the Tribune Co. debate who is having a better season: Denver Broncos' quarterback Peyton Manning or the guy who replaced him as the Indianapolis Colts' QB, rookie Andrew Luck. Join the conversation by voting in the poll and leaving a comment of your own.

Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times

It’s a bizarre coincidence that at the midway point of the season, Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck have identical passing yardage totals (2,404, tied for third) and team records (5-3).

Overall, Manning has better numbers with the league’s best completion percentage (69.5, compared with  Luck’s 29th-ranked 56.6) and passer rating 108.6 (Luck is 25th at 79.0). What’s more, Manning has twice as many passing touchdowns (20 vs. 10) and six interceptions to Luck’s eight – and remember, three of Manning’s picks came in the first quarter of that jolting performance in Week 2 at Atlanta. So, strictly looking at the numbers, Manning is having a better season.

But this question is still splitting hairs because the sport is more than numbers, and what Luck is doing in Indianapolis is phenomenal. Not only has he lifted a franchise that looked to be headed for a multi-year rebuilding period, but he’s done so with a midstream change at head coach and surrounded by largely mediocre talent (although the Broncos aren’t overflowing with Pro Bowlers,either.)

Manning’s story is amazing, inspirational and unexpected … but the fact that the Colts are in the playoff hunt? In this case, the tie goes to the rookie.

Dan Pompei, Chicago Tribune

Andrew Luck is having an outstanding rookie season, but Peyton Manning is having an MVP season. Just because they have passed for the same number of yards doesn’t mean they are performing equally. In fact, Manning has been far superior to the young man who replaced him as the quarterback of the Colts.

His passer rating is 108.6 compared to 79 for Luck.  He has completed 69.5% of his passes; Luck has completed 56.6.  Manning is averaging 8.2 yards per completion, a full yard per completion more than Luck. And Manning has thrown twice as many touchdown passes — 20 to 10. One day, Luck may be talked about as being in the same category as Manning. But that day should not be today.

Aaron Wilson, Baltimore Sun

Go ahead, hand this figurative crown to Peyton Manning , and not just based on his superior numbers.

Manning has 2,404 yards, 20 touchdowns and six interceptions for a 108.6 quarterback rating compared to rookie Andrew Luck's identical passing yards, 10 touchdowns, eight interceptions and 79.0 rating.

What Manning is doing is remarkable considering all of the trauma and surgical repair his neck has endured. He has energized a Broncos squad that needed an experienced hand.

None of that is to minimize Luck's achievements. The precocious former Stanford star is having a superb rookie season and is mature beyond his years. Understandably, he's not on Manning's level just yet.

For now, what Manning is doing at his age deserves a bigger nod of respect.

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