All You Need is Luck: Is Andrew Luck Still a Top Dynasty Quarterback?

Bobby Koch

I’ve been seeing a bunch of polls on Twitter lately that have been making me #madonline. Below is a sample that my friend Addison Hayes posted after a conversation with me. I figured these results would happen, but they still made me want to pull my hair out.

If you interact with me, you probably know what’s coming. These polls are suggesting that Andrew Luck is no longer a top dynasty quarterback. Some of them have even gone as far to suggest that he is no longer a top five. Before I blow my top like Anger from Inside out, it’s time for me to make the case for why I believe that to be totally unjust.


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Let’s begin with a lesson in history. General Andrew Luck was surrounded by enemy troops on all sides and… okay, so maybe not that history. Instead, we’re going to look at how Andrew Luck’s career to date matches up historically to some other quarterbacks. I know, this goes contrary to the “what have you done for me lately” attitude that seems to prevail on Twitter, but I think it’s important to put his career in the proper context.

We’re going to start with his rookie season. Below is a table showing rookie quarterbacks since 1920 that have passed for at least 4,000 yards from Pro Football Reference.

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You may notice that not only is Luck one of three here, but he leads the group in passing yards by over 300 yards. He also had the most touchdowns of anyone to complete the feat. We can’t ignore the fact that he also had the most passing attempts and most interceptions, but still a very impressive achievement.

Speaking of touchdowns in rookie seasons, below is a table of rookies since 1920 to pass for at least 20 touchdowns from Pro Football Reference.

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Once again, Andrew Luck finds himself part of the top three. This list includes three hall of famers, a potential fourth, and some of the most promising quarterbacks in the game today. Luck detractors may be quick to point out Robert Griffin is also on this list, but let’s address that by going into what Luck has done since his rookie season.

So, what has Andrew Luck done exactly since his rookie season? Well, in the five seasons of his career to date he’s passed for 132 touchdowns and 19078 yards. Here’s a list of the other quarterbacks to put up similar stats in the first five seasons of their career since 1920 from Pro Football Reference.

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It’s very notable that both Luck and Dan Marino made this list despite starting ten (or in the case of Marino eleven) games fewer than Peyton. The fact that Marino had 30 more touchdowns than Payton is insane. It’s also notable that of the three players to make this list in the past 97 years, one is a hall of a famer, one is a lock to be a hall of famer, and the other is currently being called overrated on Twitter.

Alright, so hopefully by now, I’ve proven to you that Andrew Luck’s career to date has been historically great. I’m sure some of you that’s enough, but I’m also sure there are some people saying, “You’re not addressing our concerns. You can’t just look at the past and not talk about what is currently happening? What about his future?” So, with that in mind, let’s talk about why people are hopping off the Luck train.


Andrew Luck is currently not playing this season. He had shoulder injury back in January and has yet to return to the field since. His injury is primarily what is scaring many people off Luck, especially since it’s been multiple injuries to his throwing shoulder.

I understand the concern, since the Colts O-line hasn’t even been capable of blocking a charging toddler in recent years. Unless the Colts do something to improve their o-line, it’s possible that when Luck gets back he just gets injured again. From that perspective, I can understand why people are down on him.

However, there is also reason for optimism. Luck played the entire 2016 season with a frayed labrum in his shoulder. Otherwise known as the injury he had surgery to repair. I think it’s important to look at how he played in that 2016 season since people are concerned how he will throw coming off the surgery.

His completion percentage of 63.5% was the best of his career. He threw for 4,240 yards and passed for 31 touchdowns. Both those are the second-best totals of his career. His pass attempts were the second lowest total of his career, but I think this season proves he doesn’t need a ton to get results.

I know the shoulder injury isn’t the only one that people are worried about, but it does seem to be the one brought up the most since it’s most likely to impact his numbers. Yet, if 2016 is any indication it shouldn’t be that problematic for him. He’s taking longer to recover from the surgery than expected, but that’s based on a timetable that was provided by the Colts team. I’m no doctor, but it doesn’t surprise me that Luck needs time to recover from the surgery.

Regarding injuries, let’s not forget that Peyton had surgery on his neck that was expected to end his career. Or that Marino tore his Achilles tendon, and still came back to have a very successful end to his career. All injuries are different, but considering Luck still showed some success despite playing through his injury I think he’ll be ok.

The Future

This all started when I saw someone suggesting that Carson Wentz is a better dynasty quarterback than Luck. I’d like to start but admitting that I was wrong about Carson Wentz. He’s proven to be a very talented quarterback. He’s had seven great games this season and is well on his way to becoming a top dynasty quarterback if he keeps this up. That said, I feel as if people are forgetting how inconsistent he was last season.

He threw nearly as many interceptions as touchdowns last season. Additionally, between week eight to week sixteen he threw only seven touchdowns while throwing eleven interceptions. I know some people argue that it was due to Lane Johnson missing every game after week six, but some of that must be on Wentz.

This is not a hit job on Wentz by any means. As I said, I believe he is well on his way to becoming a top quarterback. However, the dislike of Andrew Luck seems to fall very much into the category of “you didn’t just dominate on Monday night?” I know you can’t discount recent events when evaluating players for the future, but given the track record, I’m feeling lucky.

If I haven’t convinced you by now that Luck is still a top dynasty quarterback, I likely never will. It’s possible you want Wentz, Prescott, or Watson over Luck because of their recent success. I think those of who give up on him will regret it and find yourselves down on your luck in your leagues.