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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Slow down the Andrew Luck hype train?


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35 replies to this topic

#1 Matt39

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 05:34 PM

As he prepares for his third season in the NFL, Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts is already regarded as one of the league’s premier quarterbacks. ESPN’s Mike Sando polled 26 NFL front-office and scouting types this month, asking them to sort every current starting quarterback into one of five tiers; Luck was in the top group, ranking fifth overall.

In terms of justifications, the Colts’ record under Luck speaks for itself. Since installing Luck as its starting QB before his rookie season of 2012, the team has won nearly 69 percent of its games (posting a pair of 11-5 campaigns). Luck also looks like a prototypical quarterback. At 6 feet 3 inches tall and 235 pounds, Luck’s size jibes far more with the preconceived notion of what an elite QB should look like than, say, Seattle’s Russell Wilson (who stands 5 feet 11 inches). Further, Sando’s scouts are probably the same people who regarded Luck as “the top quarterback prospect to come along in the past 30 years” when he was at Stanford. Research in psychology has shown that it’s incredibly difficult to alter people’s first impressions, so it might have taken a Ryan Leaf-esque flop for scouts to change their opinions about Luck’s potential superstardom.

In terms of individual statistics, however, Luck has hardly been a top-five quarterback. Adjusted Net Yards per Attempt (ANY/A) — which quantifies a quarterback’s passing efficiency while taking into account his touchdown passes, interceptions and sacks – ranks Luck18th in the NFL over the past two seasons. He finished 16th in 2013. By that measure, Luck hasn’t even been an average passer thus far in his career.

Depending on the stat or the scout, Luck is mediocre or good. Or great. Or average.

luckranks.png?w=610&h=550 
What’s going on?

Even by the standards of individual football statistics, ANY/A is a rough metric. It doesn’t account for strength of schedule, and it treats all yardage as equal regardless of the situation. Other metrics, like ESPN’s Total QBR (in which Luck ranked ninth a year ago) and Brian Burke’s Expected Points Added (eighth) and Win Probability Added (sixth), regard Luck more highly, suggesting that he’s performing well in QB rushing and clutch play, which conventional yardage-based passing metrics don’t effectively measure.

Indeed, Luck’s running game is often overlooked. In its Defense-Adjusted Yards Above Replacement (DYAR) metric, Football Outsiders ranked Luck as the top rushing QB in the NFL last season. But even if we add Luck’s rushing DYAR to his passing tally over the past two seasons, he ranks 12th among quarterbacks in total value added above replacement.

The same goes for Pro Football Focus’s play-by-play grades — by their estimation, Luck was third among QBs in rushing value added above average. But those grades also rate Luck as barely better than an average QB as a passer. Again, if we combine passing and rushing (plus penalty avoidance) and convert those grades to assess value against replacement (instead of average), Luck has been the 14th-ranked quarterback over the past two seasons.

In both sets of value-over-replacement rankings, Luck narrowly places ahead of the Carolina Panthers’ Cam Newton, who makes for a particularly interesting point of comparison. Statistically, the two quarterbacks offered similar production a year ago, but their reputations couldn’t be more different. Luck is widely known as a “winner“; Newton has been dogged by criticism as a “stat-padder” who doesn’t deliver in big moments. Those sentiments probably played a large role when Sando’s execs placed Newton in the third tier despite having a quantitative résumé similar to Luck’s. Backing up that viewpoint, Christopher Price writes in Football Outsiders’ 2014 Almanac: “Newton is a very talented quarterback, but nobody in the league would take him over Andrew Luck right now.”

Of course, the biggest reason professed by the executives for their high placement of Luck was his team’s success despite a weak supporting cast, which gets at the fundamental limitations of evaluating individual NFL players with metrics and the eye test. “The evaluators think Luck has carried a subpar roster to a 22-10 record without much help,” Sando writes.

Football Outsiders has a great caveat about individual advanced stats that goes along these lines:

“In 2013, Andrew Luck had 650 DYAR. But what we are really saying is ‘In 2013, Andrew Luck, playing in Pep Hamilton’s offensive system with the Indianapolis offensive line blocking for him and Donald Brown and Trent Richardson providing rushing support, had 650 DYAR.’ “

The truth is that in football, perhaps more than any other sport, a player’s statistics depend greatly on the talent around him. And the common perception is that Luck’s supporting cast is similar to that which went 2-14 with Curtis Painter, Dan Orlovsky and Kerry Collins under center in 2011. That might not be entirely true, but it’s largely beyond our statistical capabilities to test assertions like those empirically.

We can attempt to measure the talent and experience level of isolated parts of an offense, but in the end we’re left with rough estimates. And what do we do if Luck’s early career ends up mirroring that of John Elway — a prestigious QB with surprisingly ordinary stats? We’ll be left wondering whether it was a coincidence if his stats jump when the 2024 versions of Rod Smith and Ed McCaffrey come along. (Or think of Tom Brady, the poster child for a quarterback’s statistical production not matching his reputation … until Randy Moss arrivedin New England.)

So, in a certain sense, we still don’t know how good Luck is. He’s probably better than his raw efficiency rates suggest, but maybe he’s not quite as good as his top-tier ranking among NFL scouts and executives. It’s a fuzzy picture of individual value that NFL fans have to settle for while we wait for new ways to more effectively disentangle players’ contributions from one another.

http://fivethirtyeig...is-andrew-luck/
 

 


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#2 Villain The Foe

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 05:39 PM

You can make numbers do anything you want them to do. Bottomline, The most important stat is wins and losses my friend. Luck wins football games. Do I think the hype train is a bit too loud...yes. But Andrew Luck wins football games. 


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#3 Larz

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 05:42 PM

The truth is that in football, perhaps more than any other sport, a player’s statistics depend greatly on the talent around him

 

weapinz ?


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#4 RutgersJetFan

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 05:43 PM

SlobberinAndrewLuck.gif


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(Chandler)'s a nice piece as long as he's the 7th most important player on your roster....I think they're going to be disappointed when they see he's just a pumped-up Drew Gooden.


#5 Larz

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 05:48 PM

as a side note, how long has it been since a jets QB would show up in a top 20 stat ?

 

10 years ?


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#6 New York Mick

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 05:52 PM

Can we trade Vick and Geno for him?
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#7 Lupz27

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 06:01 PM

You can make numbers do anything you want them to do. Bottomline, The most important stat is wins and losses my friend. Luck wins football games. Do I think the hype train is a bit too loud...yes. But Andrew Luck wins football games.


"All I do is win win no matter what"

That's all that matters, end stats, save them for fantasy football opinions.
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#8 Matt39

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 06:02 PM

"All I do is win win no matter what"

That's all that matters, end stats, save them for fantasy football opinions.

 

Wilson > Luck then?


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#9 JetsFanInDenver

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 06:51 PM

I hope after reading this article the Colts realize they habe an awful QB on hand  and CUT him. Then the JETS can acquire him because we like to collect mediocre players.


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#10 faba

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 06:56 PM

Take Luck out as Colt QB- and see what record they end up with


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#11 Integrity28

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 07:20 PM

Take Luck out as Colt QB- and see what record they end up with

 

That was a 4 win team after all the injuries they had. IMO


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#12 JiF

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 08:13 PM

The AFC South sucks so some of his winning percentage is based on that but then dude had wins vs. 49'ers, Seahwaks and Broncos last year.  His stats arent astronomical but 23-9 TD vs. INT's is rock solid for a 2nd year player.  He's also had some injuries from a receiving perspective and a mediocre run game.  In terms of coming up big, that 2nd half vs. the Chiefs in playoffs. was unreal.  He was lights out.

 

Bottom line, the guy's really good and he's a baby.


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#13 Obrien2Toon

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 08:24 PM

They are really wasting his talents with their power O BS.
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#14 johnnysd

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 08:30 PM

Wilson > Luck then?

 

I have always thought so.


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#15 Lupz27

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 08:34 PM

Wilson > Luck then?


Right now yea. Luck is 22-10, and set the record for most 4th quarter comebacks by a rookie with 7 so when he gets the same help from his D as Wilson has then we might revisit.
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#16 GATA

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 08:44 PM

Take Luck out as Colt QB- and see what record they end up with

 

Touché

I like the kid I think his hype is justified. I take his over the overbearing nonsense the Tim Tebow wave was.


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#17 Maxman

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 09:30 PM

Touché

I like the kid I think his hype is justified. I take his over the overbearing nonsense the Tim Tebow wave was.

 

Hi GATA.

 

I thought it was going to take a personal invite to get you posting again. Good thing it didn't come to that. That would be creepy. :)


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#18 T0mShane

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 09:32 PM

That would be creepy. :)



When has that ever stopped you?
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#19 Gastineau Lives

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 09:36 PM

When has that ever stopped you?

 

So true. By the way, Courtney doing a spot tomorrow, night?


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#20 Maxman

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 09:47 PM

When has that ever stopped you?

 

It was more of a general observation and wasn't intended to be interpreted as meaning I would stop.


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#21 Maxman

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 09:47 PM

So true. By the way, Courtney doing a spot tomorrow, night?

 

LOL.


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#22 GATA

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 09:55 PM

Hi GATA.

I thought it was going to take a personal invite to get you posting again. Good thing it didn't come to that. That would be creepy. :)


Bahaha 😆
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#23 Larz

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 06:09 PM

so the jets play the colts in the PS opener

 

Luck will pick on milliner for the feel good opening drive TD so they can all go sit down and take their helmets off

 

and then we can all revisit this thread, lol


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#24 jack48

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 04:59 AM

I have always thought so.


Maybe----I was thinking that Wilson had much better personnel around him but when you think about it, Wilson's receivers are not exactly a hall of fame collection. So, maybe.

Edited by jack48, 01 August 2014 - 05:00 AM.

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#25 shawn306

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 08:02 AM

The AFC South sucks so some of his winning percentage is based on that but then dude had wins vs. 49'ers, Seahwaks and Broncos last year.  His stats arent astronomical but 23-9 TD vs. INT's is rock solid for a 2nd year player.  He's also had some injuries from a receiving perspective and a mediocre run game.  In terms of coming up big, that 2nd half vs. the Chiefs in playoffs. was unreal.  He was lights out.

 

Bottom line, the guy's really good and he's a baby.

 

 

Agreed....

 

The funny thing is is if Geno has a 23-9 TD vs INT to some people here would still be calling for his head.


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