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Shutdown Corner

Andrew Luck sets rookie record for passing yards in a game, makes case as MVP candidate

Frank Schwab
Shutdown Corner

Where does Andrew Luck rank among NFL quarterbacks at this moment? Are there 10 quarterbacks in the league better than him? Five?

What Luck is doing in Indianapolis so far this year is among the most impressive feats a rookie has ever pulled off. Behind his NFL rookie record 433 passing yards, Indianapolis beat Miami 23-20 to improve to 5-3. In a watered-down AFC, the Colts have a great shot at a playoff berth, which is amazing.

This is the same franchise that was in serious danger of going 0-16 last year. The Colts didn't add much in the free-agent market this offseason, realizing they faced a long-term rebuilding project.

But they added Luck. And now they are halfway to a 10-win season and a wild-card berth. Sometimes success in the NFL is as easy as having a great quarterback.

Luck was dominant against the Dolphins. He completed 30 of 48 passes for 433 yards, with two touchdowns and no interceptions. He broke the Colts' rookie record for passing in a game -- set by Jack Trudeau with 359 yards in 1986, of course. Were you expecting someone else?

[More NFL: Watch: LaDainian Tomlinson says Mark Sanchez is not a big-time QB]

The Colts had a more memorable rookie quarterback who set records that Luck is gaining on. ESPN Stats and Info said Luck is the second rookie in NFL history with four 300-yard passing games. The other was Peyton Manning in 1998. Luck has half a season left to add to that total.

Two Colts receivers had 100-yard games on Sunday: Donnie Avery and T.Y. Hilton. That's not exactly Swann and Stallworth. The Colts could go from a team that started 0-13, brought back a roster that isn't dramatically better than last season and had the horrible situation of coach Chuck Pagano being diagnosed with leukemia during the season, to one that goes to the playoffs. Luck's impact on the first half of this NFL season can't be overstated. He should be considered a legitimate MVP candidate through eight games.

If Luck isn't already considered in the elite tier of NFL quarterbacks, his inclusion on that list will be an easy decision very soon, especially as the Colts start to add pieces around him. Indianapolis picked the perfect year to be awful and earn the first overall pick.

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