Based on the sheer magnitude of the game for the two individuals involved, Andrew Luck has to be my impact player of the week.
The classic David and Goliath scenario took place Sunday night at Lucas Oil Stadium. Four-time NFL MVP Peyton Manning is arguably the greatest quarterback to play the game, at least in the regular season. Luck is trying to follow in his cleats in Indy.
So here we are in what was Week 7, the second quarter of the NFL's regular season. The cool but not yet cold air of Indianapolis swirling about a highly charged crowd. A pretty much unscathed Manning has been unstoppable sitting undefeated atop the NFL upon the return to his former team and city of 14 years for which he also won a Super Bowl. He deservedly received a 90-second standing ovation.
Unfortunately, I played for the Chicago Bears in that Super Bowl (insert violins here). It would be unimaginable to think for one second that Peyton didn't approach this game with all the controversy surrounding his departure from Indy and everything he did for the organization/city with a laser-like, playoff mentality.
As this story was being written everything was about Manning, but the unlikely protagonist Luck stole the show as reality played itself out on the field.
Luck, the dynamic, prototypical 2013 quarterback outshined the classic, dropback, prototype pocket passer we grew accustomed to in the Drew Bledsoe, Dan Marino, dare I say it Bernie Kosar, Troy Aikman era.
Today's quarterbacks win football games with their arms and legs , and their ability to understand the game. This can be said not only about Luck but also Colin Kaepernick, Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson and Ben Roethlisberger.
Whether they run to throw or they run to pass, without their legs they just might not be who we thought they were. But since they can do all of the above they are nothing short of amazing.
Luck continues to set the bar for what we expect young players can accomplish in this league. Being that I am a Harbaugh fan, one can't leave out the fact that Jack Harbaugh did an amazing job. Yes Jack! The father of John, Jim, and Joani Harbaugh and husband of Jackie. Can't forget Jackie.
How does the saying go? Behind every good man is a great woman? For the sake of being PC, I would have to adjust the saying to, "behind every good person is a great person," I digress. Jack played a hand in why Jim was so good as a former 15-year NFL quarterback and sensational as Stanford's and the 49ers' head coach.
Jim in turn played a hand in preparing Luck to be a successful professional quarterback. Yes, Luck outran Peyton, he out-orchestrated Peyton and had a higher quarterback rating than Peyton.
In the ultimate team game the only stat that matters is the win column, but upstaging one of the greatest to ever live has to count as some sort of notch on Luck's belt.
In talking to one of Luck's former coaches. he would think otherwise. Personality-wise Luck is somewhat of a throwback. He still uses a Samsung flip phone and doesn't engage in social media. Built like a linebacker, the modest and humble former Cardinal would rather kill them with kindness ... at least until he steps on the football field.
The original article can be found at FOXSports.com: Andrew Luck: Impact Player of Week 7.