Analysis Notebook: Week 5

Russell Wilson vs Andrew Luck is the new Brady vs Manning. Let's take a look at both of the young star quarterbacks

| 3 years ago

Analysis Notebook: Week 5

analysis notebook copy

Like Ali needed Frazier, Bird needed Magic, and Rocky needed a whole host of contrived nemeses through six movies and counting, great NFL quarterbacks need a foil, a career rival to bring the best out of them. Tom Brady has had Peyton Manning to be compared to and measure himself against for his entire career. The two bring out the best in each other.

It was supposed to be Andrew Luck vs. RGIII for the next decade plus. The two prospects were sitting atop the 2011 NFL Draft and were to be forever linked in their NFL careers. Injury, or a series of injuries, have robbed us of that particular rivalry and it is Russell Wilson, selected 74 places below Luck who looks set to fill that role.

Wilson and Luck look primed to become the next great quarterbacks in the NFL and given the success both men have brought to their teams already, they have generated the inevitable comparisons that Luck and RGIII were supposed to.

I could draw up an exhaustive list of plays breaking down each player in excruciating detail, but then this edition of the Analysis Notebook would span thousands of words and become more of a dissertation or college thesis. Instead, let’s look a little at each player and highlight both their strengths and weaknesses using specific case study plays.

Andrew Luck

Luck began this race with a head start. He was the number one overall pick in the draft, he was the new face of the franchise before his plane had even touched down, he was the best quarterback prospect to come out since Peyton Manning, the man who he would be replacing. Wilson of course was far less heralded. He was pretty good, for a short guy. A third round pick everybody liked on the quiet, but not enough to man up and take higher in the draft.

Whether people like to admit it or not, where a guy is drafted has a huge influence on his reputation, at least on a superficial level. People will be more willing to give a guy credit for what he does well, pointing to the talent and obvious potential, and excuse what he does badly, explaining it away as young growing pains. The same traits in a less heralded prospect will be seen as lucky or freak plays and evidence of his inherent flaws.

Luck has had people proclaiming him to be one of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL since before he was even in the NFL. When you’ve got people proclaiming him a nailed on star before he’s even taken a snap, given all we know about quarterback busts, you know there’s a serious amount of blinkered thinking to get past.

He put up impressive numbers from the outset, and the team has won since his arrival, so it was always easy for the narrative to continue to run – Luck was a top quarterback already and a surefire stud – but the truth is that his performance had never quite matched that hype until this season.

Despite throwing for 4,374 yards as a rookie Luck was PFF’s 16th ranked QB and a year later he was 12th. PFF isn’t concerned with statistics when measuring performance, and the grading represents a play-by-play evaluation of his throws and performance with the football in those seasons. If he made a great throw that was dropped by his receivers, he got credit for it. If he made a terrible throw that ended up bouncing off a defender’s hands but caught by one of his receivers, he was downgraded heavily. If you look at the grading Luck was good, and improving each year, but lagging behind the hype a little.

This year though he has caught up to it. He currently sits 3rd in the QB rankings, trailing only Aaron Rodgers and Philip Rivers. He has eliminated much of the negative from his game and only added to the positives.

Biggest Strength:

You don’t have to look far to find an example of Luck’s biggest strength as a quarterback – his ability to thread the needle with the football. He has a legit NFL arm, and trusts it enough to put the ball in the air and drop it into tight windows without getting his receivers killed by a dangerous pass. Take this play against the Ravens on Sunday:


Luck wants to his TE Dwayne Allen on a post pattern on this play, and you can see from the drops about to be taken by the various Baltimore defenders that it’s going to be a pretty tight window when he attempts it. He needs to clear underneath defenders with the football and drop it in front of the deep safety all without exposing it to anybody either side and not leading Allen into trouble. It’s a tough pass, but it has the potential to pay off with a big gain late in the game.

ANWL4Luck fired a perfect pass into what we can see was a tight and closing window. The ball had perfect placement and good velocity on it, hitting Allen in stride and allowing him to run past one defender before eventually being stopped by the last line of defense before a score. This was a huge play that almost paid off with a score – it’s the play you want to see your quarterback make when the game situation is critical.

Biggest Weakness:

While he has always displayed the kind of big-game skills we have just seen above, and he seems to come alive when the game is on the line –  the critical, clutch situations – Luck’s biggest weakness has always been the simple plays he leaves out on the field. He has cut down on these in a major way this season which goes a long way to explaining why his grade is so much better. In 2013 12% of his attempts were wide of the mark of his intended receiver. This year that figure is just 7%, but there are still examples to draw on.

Take this play against Jacksonville. Luck’s routine miss – under no pressure – directly cost his team four points. Indianapolis play design perfectly created an easy pass opportunity for a touchdown, placing the Jaguars defense in a no-win situation against a pair of routes coming at them. Luck had to deliver a simple quick pass and T.Y. Hilton had an easy score. Instead though the ball was low, and almost uncatchable. Hilton needed to dive at the floor to bring it in, killing any chance of a score as the defenders had the time to close on him and stop him short. The Colts ended up having to settle for a field goal on the drive.

You could easily find a play like this for every quarterback. None of them are perfect and all miss passes from time to time – even routine ones – but I’m highlighting this one of Luck’s for a reason, it is something he has struggled with relative to other quarterbacks, and is a large part of the reason his PFF grade has never quite matched the hype.

Russell Wilson

Wilson is the Tom Brady to Luck’s Peyton Manning. Far less heralded, he was never supposed to be the Seattle starter from the outset. He was a third round pick and the team had just paid Matt Flynn a “generous” sum to be the new starting quarterback. Tarvaris Jackson has started the season before and was still there as competition. Wilson was at best the future, with time to sit and learn behind the two veterans. As it happened though as soon as he stepped off the plane he was just evidently better than the two guys ahead of him on the depth chart, and to Seattle’s credit they didn’t take long to recognize reality and insert him as the starter.

Since then Wilson has if anything outperformed Luck, though not necessarily when looking at conventional stats. With one more career start to date Luck has thrown for 2, 486 more yards than Wilson. Even when you add in Wilson’s rushing yardage the figure only rounds out to around 2,000, and actually adds to Luck’s touchdown margin. Over the same time span though Wilson has scored a +67.3 PFF grade to Luck’s +36.0. He has made huge plays at crucial times and operated within the offense rather than been the focal point of the offense.

Biggest Strength:

Like Luck, Wilson has all the arm he could need. He is also athletic enough to make big plays with his legs. We saw on Monday Night against Washington that he is dangerous enough in that regard that the team can heavily tilt their game plan towards it if they spot a weakness in the defense. Washington was clearly not prepared to defend Wilson as a runner, and the Seahawks leaned on option keepers and bootlegs. Wilson responded with 122 rushing yards, 66 of which came from five designed carries (as opposed to scrambles).

It’s Wilson the passer that often gets underrated and overlooked though, so let’s highlight this play against the Broncos.

ANWLHe has his receiver, Ricardo Lockette, isolated in man coverage at the bottom of the screen. The safety is on the far side of the field, and his pre-snap read tells him this is where to go with the football. As we can see at the moment Wilson throws the ball the coverage is actually very good. ANWL2If he wants to complete this pass he has to do better than just hang it up there and hope his receiver makes a play. That kind of pass against this kind of coverage is likely to be picked off. Instead he hits his target with precision, and drops a pass perfectly into the hands of Lockette in the end zone for a score. This is a picture perfect pass over a significant distance. It’s a pass you want your quarterback to make and helps to explain how he can grade so highly despite putting up far fewer yards than a guy like Luck. He may not get through the same volume of yardage, but the quality of that yardage is often superior.

Again, the point is not to suggest that this one throw proves anything, but it acts as an example of what the grading shows – Wilson making impressive throws even though he might not accumulate the yardage of other passers.

Biggest Weakness:

Quarterbacks with rushing ability are supposed to be the silver bullet to NFL defenses. In theory they can be almost impossible to defend. You cover every potential receiver and then they take off from the pocket and pick up yardage you just weren’t prepared to defend. If you dedicate resources to keep them contained then you sacrifice coverage. The problem is that it’s a very fine line to tread between taking off and making plays when you need to, and spooking from a clean pocket too soon, becoming a run first guy and exposing yourself both to injury and a less efficient means of moving the football.

This play highlights the smart Wilson when it comes to running with the ball. sees very quickly that the pass play is un jeopardy but also that the middle of the field has opened up, so takes off. This is a play a lot of quarterbacks make, though you have to admire the lack of hesitation in his movement. What I love most about this run though is the way he attacks the unblocked defender in the open field. Most quarterbacks faced with this slide right there if they are smart or try to challenge him if they aren’t. Wilson though has rare athletic instincts with the ball in his hands and knows that he can just cut to space, maintaining speed and putting the defender in an impossible situation. He cuts past him, turns a modest gain into a first down and then crucially still ends the play with a slide to avoid taking any significant hits on the play. This is smart rushing at its best.

It can cause problems though, and we also saw Wilson leave the pocket too soon at times in this game. As it happens, he got away with it both times I saw it happen against Washington, even turning one of them into a huge pass play, but the threat is there. Any time you have a quarterback who knows he can make plays with his legs there is an inevitable temptation to abandon the pocket too soon, sacrificing any chance of standing in there and delivering the ball despite pressure.

So far Wilson has stayed on the right side of this line more often than not, but it can be a concern at times.

The Battle

So where does all this leave us? Before this season I would have said that Russell Wilson was the clear leader in the rivalry. Sure, Luck has thrown for more yards, but Wilson was in my eyes actually performing better as a quarterback. He was making fewer mistakes, executing his offense more consistently all throughout the game, and of course he had earned his ring by leading the Seahawks to the Super Bowl. Now the last part he did only as one part of the Seattle juggernaut, but still, we all know that rings matter a little, even to the most logical of us when it comes to these debates.

This season though the two have reversed fortunes. Luck has ironed out much of the poor play that often hurt his grade while Wilson has actually dialled back the impressive plays and become more of the game manager that people have often (incorrectly) accused him of being in the past. Right now Luck is significantly out grading Wilson right at the time people are finally starting to tell you how good the Seahawks passer is.

The bottom line right now is that I’m honestly not sure which guy I’d pick if I had the chance of starting my franchise from scratch, but that it looks like you’d be in great hands with either one, and that bodes very well for the next decade of NFL action.

Follow Sam on Twitter: @PFF_Sam





| Senior Analyst

Sam is a Senior Analyst at Pro Football Focus, as well as a contributor to ESPN and NBCSports.

  • Kevin Smithz

    Needs adjustment vs the teams played. Playing good vs Eagles/Jax/Titans…meh

    • Jay

      How is luck +36? His rookie year he was in the red. His next season he went green but not enough to move out of the red.

      • Kevin Smithz

        Not even worried about that. Just annoying that PFF posts a piece you can find on bleacher report instead of using those advanced stats they are known for. Just an opinion piece sadly.

        • PFFSamMonson

          PFF isn’t about the stats, even advanced ones – it’s about player evaluation, through the tape. The Analysis Notebook series in particular has never been about stats and advanced numbers, but only at times using them to highlight something the tape shows.

          This is about looking at each guy from the point of view of the tape and grades. Anybody is free to click around on the site and compare the two using all the advanced stats we have.

          • Kevin Smithz

            Ahhh I just remember a great article that went up earlier this year that seemed much^2 more….insightful than this one.

        • Seattle Steve

          Can you come across any more c**ty?

          • Kevin Smithz

            I suppose I could post a response that offers nothing more than an expletive?

          • Cptjesus

            There’s a match in substance. You can put lipstick on a c**t and teach him to orate well while he’s being a c**t, but he’s still a c**t.

            The proper way for you to high road in this situation would’ve been to offer some tangible idea of what that article that was so much more insightful included as compared to this ‘opinion piece.’ Any statistic that can be generated can become warped by certain fluke plays or schemes or even just the role a player plays. Any shoddy writer (I’ll refrain from directly shitting on another publication for no reason, because that seems c**ty) could just vomit a pile of statistics out to make a case for one player or the other without having seen them play a single snap.

          • Kevin Smithz

            Depends which statistics and how they are used… Otherwise you might have had a point. Statistics have to apply. Thanks tho jesus

        • I can’t believe it

          When comparing two players from different teams, that run different offenses, with different priorities, all one can ever hope for is an opinion. There will never be any had evidence either way…They are both awesome and derserving of their praise.

    • Dohkay

      You can look at like for like games. Luck and Wilson have played the same team in the same location (at home for both or away for both) in the same year 10 such times. The opponents by year: 2012 – at Chi, at Det, GB, MN and 2013 – at ARI, at HOU, at SF, JAX, STL, TEN.

      In those 10 games, Wilson is far better with a passer rating of 102.5 compared to Luck’s 76.1. Of course, as I pointed out in my post below, Wilson has much more help. His defense yielded 17.7 PPG in those 10 games compared to Luck’s 25.4 and his RBs averaged 115 YPG compared to Luck’s 68. As a result, Wilson threw it 27 times per game compared to Luck at 41.

      In terms of Win-Loss record, Wilson was 8-2 while Luck was 7-3.

  • Chris

    Wonderful article.

    • Seahawks Lover


      • Chris


  • Dohkay

    It’s much easier to perform well when you’re not asked to carry the team and when you have the luxury of having an elite RB and defense to take the pressure off you. In Wilson’s 41 games his defense has given up an average of 15.7 PPG compared to Luck’s 23.6. Wilson’s defense forces 2.1 turnovers per game to Luck’s 1.4. His defense gives him the ball inside the opponent’s 35 yard line 0.9 times per game compared to Luck’s 0.3 and his average starting field position is at the 31 yard line compared to Luck’s at the 26.

    How about the running game? Wilson’s backs average 117.2 YPG compared to Luck’s at 88.2 YPG. Wilson averages 25.4 attempts per game to Luck’s 38.8, a luxury afforded to him by a stellar running game and a defense that doesn’t force Wilson to have to play from behind and score a lot of points. Since they began their careers, Wilson has gotten 3,153 yards and 4.6 YPC from Lynch alone. Luck has gotten 3,306 yards and 3.9 YPC from all of his RBs COMBINED.

    The fewest passing attempts in a game for Luck is 23. Wilson has 15 games with 23 or fewer passes and he’s 14-1 in such games (it helps when you get 132 yards rushing from your teammates and the defense allows under 12 PPG in those instances, I suppose).

    • Chris

      Good stuff. Can’t wait for what’s his name to show up – I’m sure he’ll have something delightful to say.

      • Dohkay

        Actually my newest friend Steve Schwarz makes [email protected] look like the Einstein of football. Check out the comments on the link below if you would like a good laugh:

        • Chris

          Oh my god dude you were so wasting your time with him lma0.

          I remember some of that debate, but only the first few pages. You should’ve bailed when he couldn’t comprehend 6-8 in games where the defense allows 17+.

    • Kevin Smithz

      What about interception ratio… and if you are going to factor in defense.. what about receivers and offensive line?

      • Dohkay

        Luck’s is 2.6% compared to Wilson’s at 2.0%. Pretty good rates for both but obviously Wilson is more efficient and his true edge comes in TD % which is 6.3% compared to Luck at 4.2%.

        Luck has 86 sacks and 222 QB hits in his 40 career games compared to Wilson with 100 sacks and 158 QB hits in his 41 career games. Wilson has more sacks but Luck takes more hits… I’d say that’s a wash.

        With regards to WRs and TEs, in 2012 Luck had 1 WR & 2 TEs rated positively by PFF compared to 3 WRs & 1 TE for Wilson. In 2013, Luck had 2 WRs & 1 TE compared to 3 WRs and 2 TEs for Wilson. So far in 2014, Luck has 2 WRs and 1 TE compared to 1 WR and not TE for Wilson. In total, Luck had 3 to Wilson’s 4 in 2012, 3 to Wilson’s 5 in 2013, and 3 to Wilson’s 1 in 2014. That one seems to swing to Wilson.

        • Kevin Smithz

          Sure except those stats can be misleading. Obviously easier to have higher or lower percentages based on how much time a QB has to throw.

          Not sure how Sacks and Hits really factor in also. How much is a sack or a hit the QB’s fault (Pocket awareness, evasiveness, time to pass) and how much is the Oline’s fault.

          Its fairly stupid to make this QB comparison now when you compare the schedules the respective QB’s have faced.
          RW has faced #2, #12, #13, and #18 ranked defense while
          AL has faced #2, #5, #16, #23, and #29 ranked defense. Obviously 1 more game and the difference between Jax and Was is rather enormous. The whole post just seemed like a media blitz to get a story out while the talking point was going on after the WAS/SEA game.

          • Dohkay

            Look at the time in pocket numbers from PFF. Wilson had the highest time in the pocket to pass and in all three years has had the higher time in the pocket until sacked than Luck. It’s pretty clear that he has more time in the pocket to wait for receivers to get open. Certainly you can argue he is elusive and is a good scrambler but I’m not sure that is the full explanation. Teams have to respect Lynch, not to mention the read options and jet sweeps that Seattle runs. Again, Wilson deserves credit for this, too, given teams have to respect HIS speed. Still, it’s pretty clear he has more time to pass.

            Given that the sacks tilt to RW, and the hits tilt heavily to AL I’m willing to call it a wash. PFF’s, FO, and AFA have ranked both OLs as mediocre to bad in the past two years so I don’t see how you can argue that one is much better than the other in either direction.

            Also, the comparison being drawn today still accounts for past performance. The author basically said Wilson has been better in 12 and 13 but thus far in 14 Luck appears to be supplanting Wilson but it’s still close either way. This wasn’t really a controversial article since his conclusion is basically, “they’re both really good!”

          • Kevin Smithz

            Its not controversial… just unnecessary. Sample size for this year is too small. Where are you getting these time in pocket stats and how are they gathered?

          • Chris

            From the Signature Stats.

            And it’s not unnecessary. These two will be compared for their entire careers, as the author mentions just as Peyton and Brady.

            They’ve each played a 1/4th of a season, and Luck appears to have taken a step forward from last year while Wilson is still playing the same. I’m sure they’ll reevaluate after another 4 games.

          • Kevin Smithz

            When playing Jax and Eagles defense can you say he appears to be taking a step forward logically? Just saying. Nothing really indicative of change on either side yet. Just a bunch of hyperbole.

          • Chris

            Wilson just played the Redskins?

            Luck actually only threw for 172 yards against the Eagles. But he’s thrown for 300+ in the other 4 games including 370 against Denver and 313 against Baltimore, both good defenses.

            And if you don’t like the hyperbole, don’t read it. They didn’t force you. Some of us appreciate the first quarter update.

          • Kevin Smithz

            Comments are reserved for only positives? Okay!
            If you don’t like criticism in comments than just leave your comment and don’t read mine? Logic?
            Not to mention how was I to know it was hyperbole before reading the article. I expect better from PFF which was the original point. ? Art thou confused?

            Comparing Jax Defense to Washington Defense is like comparing Peyton Manning to a 3rd string QB.

          • Chris

            WAS: 27th run defense
            JAX: 25th run defense

            WAS: 32nd coverage
            JAX: 30th coverage

            Why is Jacksonville’s THAT much worse again?

          • Dohkay

            LOL – oops!

          • Kevin Smithz

            Look unsupported stats! Also likely not adjusted; provide source! Basics!

            FBOutsiders had WAS at 16th defense and Jax at 31.

          • Chris

            Do you want me to hold your hand and lead you there? Every single stat I’ve provided in this chat is straight from the PFF database.

          • Kevin Smithz

            Need to know where to look for stats?

            PFFSamMonson Kevin Smithz • 4 hours ago

            PFF isn’t about the stats, even advanced ones – it’s about player evaluation, through the tape.

          • Chris

            Yes, the numbers I posted for Washington and Jacksonville are cumulative grades. You left off the part of his post where he says that the grading and evaluation via watching gametape is what PFF is all about.

            They grade every play for every player, then they aggregate those player grades into team grades. I posted the team grades for Washington and Jacksonville to show that if anything Jacksonville is not MUCH WORSE than Washington, and they maybe even be a tad bit better when Washington’s dead last rank in coverage is considered.

          • Kevin Smithz

            Ranking overall without advanced stats is kinda pointless.
            Not to mention the variable of difference between 1 and 2? Quantify that. Especially when not adjusted for your competition. You are kinda proving my point. Thanks

          • Chris


            Those player grades and aggregated team grades come from watching tape and evaluating every player. I don’t need any advanced stats to support that, and Sam agreed with that. The grades are the most indicative of how players/teams played. I gave you the grades. Jacksonville is better in several ways than Washington, so to refute your original point Jacksonville does not look like a 3rd stringer next to Peyton.

          • Kevin Smithz

            Noooo… I quoted Sam where he said that PFF isn’t about stats its about player evaluation through watching tape.

            You need to work on reading comprehension. The grades are made from humans watching tape. Humans are subject to bias and error. Statistical information when properly gathered and formed into telling information are superior to a guy watching tape. You don’t realize that a guy watching tape can weigh different areas different ways? Maybe someone values total yardage? Maybe someone values interception differential? Maybe someone values decision making different ways?

            It almost seems like you are just trolling me. How about you take some time away and cool down, your anger is affecting your decision making.

          • Chris

            I’m not angry I’m laughing over here lma000.

            You literally just said “PFF isn’t about stats it’s about player evaluation through watching tape.”

            But then you say grading doesn’t matter because it’s subject to bias and error, and that stats are superior?

            Like, what??? You just went in a circle.

            You also realize that those games aren’t just graded by one person, specifically because they want to avoid bias and errors. They have multiple people do each game and they corroborate the inconsistencies and come to a final conclusion. They also go back and review tape when things don’t make sense.

            There is no error. There is no bias. Those grades are the result of many individuals reviewing the same game tape. That is better than stats, as you said earlier. And according to those grades, Jacksonville grades better than Washington stopping the run and in coverage, while Washington has the edge in rushing the passer.

          • Dohkay

            How about you cite the pass defense since this is about Luck and Wilson. Washington ranks 25th against the pass according to FO while Jacksonville ranks 27th. Washington also got the privelege of playing against Jacksonville’s 32nd ranked passing offense (according to FO and the entire world) to improve their crappy numbers. Take that game away where they sacked Henne 10 times and they are WORSE.

            Both are creampuffs. Please stop.

          • Chris

            Don’t try and bring logic into this.

          • Dohkay

            The guy tries to cherry pick numbers from another site even though a little critical thinking shows that site only further degrades his argument. Just amazing.

          • Kevin Smithz

            How so? Support your statement. Last I checked I was bringing information to the discussion that you “cherry picked” right around. Convenient.

          • Dohkay

            You cited overall defensive ranks which include pass defense AND run defense. Washington has performed well against the run (likely a function of the fact that they are sieves against the pass). I pointed out the pass defense rankings which are more relevant to the Wilson/Luck debate we’re having. FO ranks Washington as the 25th best pass defense and Jacksonville is ranked 27th. Please tell me how this is a credit to your argument?

          • Kevin Smithz

            That is sloppy thinking unless all a QB is supposed to do is pass. The QB is a focal point of the entire offense also notice in washington’s case RW ran for 122? yards. My point isn’t that RW is better or that Luck is better. My point is that the past 4 games are not good indicators of any change. Sorry if that wasn’t clear.

          • Kevin Smithz

            Some has to… you sure aren’t.

          • Jay

            Since their rookie season Wilson has been ahead. And as far as just the passing game he hasn’t been given some great options but his run game is great but his threat to run contributes to some open lanes for RBs. And he defense is legendary in an era that admittedly hates good defensive play. It really is a case of TB vs Peyton Manning (though Wilson has had better running games than TB and maybe defense)

    • I can’t believe it

      Sure enough, but then one can say that if Luck were in Wilson’s shoes that he would also have muted numbers, with far less passing yards Per Game and attempts…It works both ways my friend, If Wilson’s defense were less proven, then he would be playing from behind more often and would by rights throwing more, which would increase is passing numbers more to that of Andrew Luck. There is no way to accurately determine who is a better QB, without them actually changing positions for a season and having them play the exact same teams, in the exact same conditions with the exact same players….Its impossible. Lets just say they’re both great, and we would love to have either one as our quarterback…this “whose the best” argument is lame.

      • Kevin Smithz

        This is the best argument…and the one I was making. Its stupid to compare the two right now.

      • Dohkay

        I’d argue he’d be more efficient and would win more games. Luck has never lost when his defense holds the opponent to 17 points or less. Wilson’s lost twice. Wilson has never won a game when his defense gives up more than 24. Luck has 8 wins in such games.

        Imagine him in Seattle…

    • Kevin Smithz

      So basically you are basing your opinion on a what if? Hyperbolic rhetoric at its finest. You are saying RW might not be that good because of defense or marshawn lynch? Idiot’s fallacy. This isn’t even logic.

      • Dohkay

        Yeah? You think a good running back and defense don’t make it any easier on a QB?

        • Kevin Smithz

          Yeah? You think having a good team back your QB worse? You don’t understand, your argument is fallacy illogical and unrelated. You are reaching for something to support your conclusion and you are choosing defense…. Are you secretly Pete Prisco>?

          • Dohkay

            Where did I say that? Nice strawman.

            A good team makes a good QB look great. That’s Wilson. A bad team makes a great QB only look good. That’s Luck. You follow?

          • Kevin Smithz

            ….. only if you are limiting yourself to looking at wins.

          • Dohkay

            A good running game has no impact on the passing game? You don’t think it makes the defense bring an extra defender to the LOS and open up the field?

          • Kevin Smithz

            Does this make a QB better or worse? LOL

          • Dohkay

            That’s not the argument. Why do you dance around the question? Is it easier on a QB if he has a good running back? In other words, does it make it easier to throw and complete passes when the defense has to respect the running game?

          • Kevin Smithz

            Your question dances around the discussion so why shouldn’t I dance around an irrelevant question? Does a strong offensive line make a running backs game easier?

          • Dohkay

            If you’re just going to play dumb I’m not going to bother replying anymore. A good oline obviously makes a running back better.

            I’m not sure what is so controversial about what I’m saying. If a QB can hand the ball of 30 times a game to an effective RB the defense has to bring am extra defender to stop it. That makes it easier to complete passes and throw TDs.

            If your defense only gives up 15 PPG you don’t have to take as many risks in the passing game and can pick your spots better. QBs have significantly better passer ratings with a lead or when the game is within a score vs. QBs who are trailing by multiple scores. Thanks to his great defense he plays most games in the former situation.

            If you can make a coherent argument against what I said I’m all ears. Or just keep asking irrelevant questions and pretend that it somehow proves your point. This will be my last response if that’s the case.

          • Kevin Smithz

            …. you missed the point. The Oline was an example of the type of question you are presenting it has nothing to do with the factual identification of skill for the runningback….kinda like your silly questions about defense. The best part about your post is you seem frustrated with irrelevant questions… which is all you have presented for the last day or so. This will be my last response if you can’t provide a coherent discussion trying to support your claim.

  • The_Strategy_Expert

    Based on value I’d much rather have Russell Wilson in the 3rd + the difference in value of what it would be worth to trade down from the #1 pick down to that level. That’s effectively what the Seahawks got out of the deal, they had to pay a lot less in draft material, plus they pick up financial cost savings under that comparison. Personally I enjoy watching him play more than Luck and it’s more interesting to have a mobile QB even though that is riskier, but that’s fine if you consider that backup QBs do have a purpose and potential value themselves. A great team really should strive to have 2 exciting QBs on their roster and at the expense of every other team and there’s no rule that says you can’t find a way to get a pair of them. Kaepernick was also a modest draft pick cost, so why couldn’t a team have found a way to get both CK and RW?

    The thing that bothers me the most is how much money they spent on a FA QB that wasn’t too exciting to begin with. They had the right idea of targeting a highly attractive QB in the draft, and it would have only been more beneficial to them if they showed the same shrewdness in avoiding an expensive FA-QB that wasn’t very appealing compared to the value-QB that they liked in the draft.

    Always go for the value and never spend big money in Free Agency unless you really, really have a good reason for it!

    • Hendoz

      Different strokes for different teams. Wilson was the final piece of the puzzle for Seattle. He is complementary to the team they had, not the cornerstone. Luck was the foundation of the “new” Colts. We’ll never know but Wilson may have been far less effective had he went to Indy and good god, think of what would be going on in Seattle had they been able to get Luck. I think pressure effects different Quaterbacks allowing them to succeed or fail based on how they take it. Wilson+little pressure = success, RG3+lots of pressure = fail, and Luck+ pressure = success. Wilson may have never been this good had he gone to Washington, with a lot of pressure to succeed right away. I also really don’t know if RG3 would have had the same success as Wilson in Seattle even with less pressure. While Wilson is a great athlete he is no freak athlete like RG3. What he does have is a good grasp of his skill set and he knows his limits. I think Luck and Wilson landed right where they needed to be and its worked out for both of them. I am not sure where RG3 should have gone, he might have been as successful as Kap in San Fran in their offense.

      • Scott Crowder

        I would HATE to think of what would have happened in Seattle if we’d gotten Luck. He’s a good QB, but he makes too many turnovers, he doesn’t have the deep ball Wilson does, he can’t quite scramble like Wilson. No, he’d be a definite downgrade. We’d have no Super Bowl with Luck.

    • Dohkay

      So essentially teams should try to nab late round steals, particularly at QB where they get the most bang for their buck, and get two starter-quality QBs in late rounds while they’re at it! Brilliant stuff!

      Are you the same strategy expert that comments on PFT articles? I’m guessing you are since he says the same blatantly obvious stuff and tries to sound smart about it.

      • The_Strategy_Expert

        Well CK was a 2nd Rounder and RW was a 3rd Rounder, so as one example a team in theory could have got both of those eventual stars without being too late in the draft and for much less value than a high 1st Round pick. Both players also had potential to sit on the bench for a long time if Alex Smith and/or Matt Flynn happened to stick around for the long-term. Or a team could have got one of those starters and a quality backup for a low cost investment elsewhere. The point is it’s possible for a team to acquire 1 and maybe 2 great QB options for very reasonable costs.

        Sorry if my previous posts haven’t been that insightful or smart enough for you. I know I have rambled on with some weak posts in the past, but I am making it a point try my best moving forward with each post that it is a quality and meaningful contribution so hopefully in the future I post something that you think is good. Thanks for giving me a chance to not disappoint you in the future!

        • Dohkay

          I knew it was you!

          • The_Strategy_Expert

            Well congratulations and I’m happy if that makes your day!


    When, not if… RW3 loses that defense he will be more comparable to the Alex Smith type check down king QB. He cannot run like that forever…Andrew Luck has the arm to play into his late 30s regardless if he ever runs it..Also, it is amazing what Luck has done with no RB as well

    • Chris

      Wilson is a better thrower on long balls than Smith. He is not asked to do much right now but that doesn’t mean he cant. We know Smith can’t.

      As for Luck, he’s already being asked to carry an offense and he’s doing it quite well now in his 3rd year. He should be a very good QB for years to come.

  • PetEng

    We are comparing Luck/Wilson to Brady/Manning? Ridiculous.
    It’s impossible to project who the next HOF QB is going to be 2-3 years into a career.
    Even if we did – is it really possible to see the Wilson/Luck will be superior to Foles/Kaep/Dalton(seriously) at this point? Seems like a major stretch.

    Calling this a rivalry is pretty lame…they aren’t even in the same conference.

    • Scott Crowder

      Well, if you compare Wilson’s stats his first two seasons to Brady or Manning, Wilson is off to a better start hands down. Luck? Not so much.

      • PetEng

        I’m saying that neither QB should be getting the credit they are being imparted currently.

        • Scott Crowder

          Oh. Well then you would be wrong.

  • RA

    Luck looks like the gun slinger qb v2.0. Hes a mobile big armed qb who isnt afraid to throw the ball to covered wr’s. He is the benchmark that teams will look for in the future, the prototype. = A mobile Favre

    Wilson on the other hand is unlike any QB we may have seen. Alot of people incorrectly label him a game manager because they do not know how to define him. His play is so goofy and backwards that he really reminds me of a player we would have seen 50 years ago placed into the 21st century. Even if teams search for the next Wilson they wont find him, he is beyond unique. = A 21st Century Otto Graham.

    Its really not fair to even compare these two, they are so incredibly different. Both are amazing and IMO will continue to dominate the NFL for many years to come.

    • Scott Crowder

      Wilson is this generations Fran Tarkenton. A guy who is perennially ranked in the top 5 QB’s of all time.

  • ChickenHunter

    One’s asked to win games the other is just a cog in the Machine.

  • Scott Crowder

    – Last season the Colts averaged 4.3 yards per rush attempt which is identical to the Seahawks.

    The excuse that they have no rushing game is simply false.

    The Colts had more rushing Touchdowns (15 compared to Seattle’s 14) and their best rush was 51 yards compared to Seattle’s 43.

    They also fumbled it only 3 times compared to Seattle’s 6. And they only failed to recover 1 fumble compared to Seattle’s 2.

    Luck’s yards per attempt average is lower than:

    – Wilson
    – Manning (both of them)
    – Brady
    – Rodgers
    – Rivers
    – Roethlesberger
    – Brees
    – Cam Newton
    – Carson Palmer
    – Matt Ryan
    – Matt Schaub
    – Jay Cutler
    – Joe Flacco
    – Michael Vick
    – Matthew Stafford
    – Andy Dalton

    Luck’s career Passer Rating is 84.3 you
    could post another list of pretty much every notable QB known to man…
    they all have a higher Passer Rating than Luck.

    Luck also has a below 60% completion percentage which is awful for a “Hall of Famer”

    Luck’s Touchdown to Interception ratio has not even reached 2/1 yet… which puts him well below all the games “elite” guys.

    Wilson is now exactly 3.00 TD/INT RATIO IN REGULAR SEASON (60/20)…

    Compared to Luck 1.82 (60/33)…

    Wilson tied the rookie TD record with the identical same team that TJack led to a 7-9 season the year before. A team Wilson almost led to the NFCCG.

    What really sets them apart is when you take into consideration common opponents. Then Wilson shows he’s head and shoulders above Luck. There really shouldn’t even be a debate and if Wilson had been taken in the first round and Luck taken in the third, there wouldn’t be.

    • Scott Crowder

      Also, the argument that Luck has to throw a lot more because his defense puts him behind? Let’s look at the two players when their team is trailing:

      Behind by 9-16 points

      8/11 120yards 72.7% 2TD 0INT 147.7 Rating

      7/13 74yards 53.8% 1TD 1INT 64.3 Rating

      For total Trailing stats no matter what

      18/25 218yards 72.0% 3TD 0INT 138.0 Rating

      35/53 350yards 66.0% 3TD 2INT 87.8 Rating

      Another interesting stat I found

      OPP 10-GOAL Luck has thrown 11TDs on 26 throws. That means only 3 of
      his TDs have come when the Colts are further than 10 yards out.

      In comparrison to his HBs
      Bradshaw has 5 runs
      Richardson has 8 runs 1TD

      So Luck has 26 throws compared to 13 runs 10 yards out

      Wilson in comparison Has 3TD on 5 throws

      Lynch has 9 carries for 3TD
      Turbin has 2 carries
      Harvin has 1

      So Wilson has 5 throws compared to 12 runs

      Although there is also the running stats for both inside the 10
      Wilson 1 run 1TD
      Luck 4 runs 1TD

      is VERY eye opening for the reason Luck has so many TDs this year is
      because they just pass pass pass when they are within 10 yards or

    • Dohkay

      Luck skews those numbers with his 6 YPC and 4 rushing TDs. Wilson was at 5.6 YPC and 1 rushing TD. In addition, Indy only had 2 fumbles on offense (1 was by Luck) while Seattle had 3 (2 were on Wilson and 1 was on Maragos on a fake punt).

      If you account for RBs with 10 carries or more over the course of their career (takes out Luck and Wilson, WR runs, and backup QB kneeldowns) it looks like this:

      Seattle – 4,036 yards on 910 carries for a 4.44 YPC
      Indianapolis – 3,151 yards on 807 carries for a 3.90 YPC

      That appears to be a pretty stark difference. It was definitely closer in 2013 (still skewed in Seattle’s favor as it does in 2014) but overwhelmingly different in 2012.

      You cite Seattle’s 7-9 record yet fail to mention Indy’s 2-14 record before Luck was drafted. You also make no mention of defense which is the clear differentiator between the two teams.

  • Duh!

    Andrew Luck wears a wristband with all the plays on it. Russell Wilson doesn’t.


    • Watch more football

      That’s because Luck runs more no-huddle offense, which is more difficult than having your O-Coordinator constantly tell you what to do. Luck>Wilson.