He doesn’t have the best stats, the prettiest technique or the highest MVP profile.
Fact is, Andrew Luck has no MVP profile at all.
That’s too bad.
Luck not only deserves to be in the discussion, he deserves the award.
No player better embodies MVP than Luck — not just this season but arguably the previous two. But certainly this season.
Yours truly has argued his case before, and I am arguing it again, because what he’s accomplished is remarkable and seemingly overlooked outside Indy in terms of the MVP conversation.
At the moment, Aaron Rodgers dominates it. He’ll probably win it. And it won’t be a travesty if he does. But Rodgers, like at least one of the other top candidates, Tom Brady, is a terrific player — and has been a terrific player — on a team accustomed to contending for championships.
Indianapolis is no such team. Once upon a time it was, but not now.
You know the story.
Indy cleaned house in 2012 after a 2-14 season. The post-Peyton Manning roster looked nothing like the roster of the Peyton Manning era. Nearly everything, except ownership, was new. Front office, coaching staff, roster, schemes, everything.
When franchises rebuild from the basement up, the hope is the playoffs within five years, maybe four. The prayer is three.
Well, the Colts aren’t quite through Year Three, and they’ve been to the playoffs three times. They’re in the AFC Championship Game, and they’re there because of one player: Luck.
True, there are some nice pieces around him. But they are not a playoff team without him, and no way are they one win from the Super Bowl without him.
Nothing shouts MVP louder than that.
But the exclamation is falling on deaf ears.
Rodgers seems a lock for the award. DeMarco Murray and Brady have outside shots. And J.J. Watt, who might be best player in the NFL, period, is a long shot but is at least being mentioned.
But scour around for mentions of Luck among leading candidates, and you’ll find nothing.
How can a player who led the NFL in touchdown passes (40), who broke Manning’s franchise single-season record for passing yards (4,761), who directed the league’s No. 1 offense for most of the season not be candidate? And not just a candidate, but a leading candidate?
Makes no sense.
Luck, of course, doesn’t play for awards. He plays to win. He plays with a contagious passion, fire, determination and resolve that lifts the Colts to heights rebuilding franchises have no business reaching three years into rebuilding. It’s what MVPs do.
Too bad too few seem to notice.