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Bad Quarterback League, Week 10: Andrew Luck’s Horrible Day and Eli’s Wonderful Year

Andrew Luck

No matter what happens, you can never count Andrew Luck out of a game in the National Football League. This is …

A. A pretty awful lede
B. Something Phil Simms has definitely said before
C. Pretty much true!

The Texans game two weeks ago was probably the most outrageous example we’ve seen so far, but he’s done it for his entire year and a half in the NFL. Luck starts sloppy, his numbers are ugly, but then just as you’re ready to give up and call him overrated, he goes off and blows your mind in the final few minutes. Regardless of whether you think clutch is a real thing, objectively speaking, nobody in the NFL has been more clutch than Andrew Luck the past two years. But this is not how it worked Sunday.

Just when we thought we’d figured out the cycle, it all fell apart.

It started with Black Lightning (Robert Quinn) forcing a fumble that White Thunder (Chris Long) returned for a touchdown. With any other quarterback, it would be a bad omen that this happened on the opening drive, but this is Andrew Luck. He does this every week. If anything, it was nice to get that out of the way early.

Cue three-and-outs on four of the next five drives. Throw in a Rams score on offense and punt return touchdown from Tavon Austin, and the Colts were down 21-0. Again, right on schedule for Andrew Luck to shatter everyone’s hopes and dreams.

But then … it just kept getting worse!

There was no second-half magic, no opportunity for announcers to praise anyone’s intelligence or moxy, nothing. Just a long, miserable day of Colts fans suffering that never got better. Which is nice, because Colts fans will probably end up enjoying a solid 25 years of Hall of Fame quarterback play once Luck and Peyton are finally done. If anyone deserves to experience some misery occasionally, it’s Colts fans.

So Luck threw three more interceptions, two of which came in the red zone, and he ended the day getting benched for Matt Hasselbeck (+35). All told, his day added up to 80 BQBL points, and for once the kid who’s seen everything go right had everything go wrong.

You might say it was all a bit UNLUCKY.

Hey now!

I promise I’ll strangle myself for that later. But while we’re here … if Luck really does become the best quarterback on earth over the next few years, the important thing to remember is that the headlines will just be out control.

Next year’s season preview: It Helps to Have Luck on Your Side

Wins MVP: Lucky or Good? Better to Be Both.

Game-winning drive: Another Stroke of Luck

Super Bowl: A Little Luck Took Them a Long Way

Career twilight: Is the Colts’ Luck Running Out?

Retirement: We Were All Just Lucky to Watch

So many takes! These headlines already make me physically angry, and there will be 10,000 more exactly like that. They’re probably already happening actually, but once he’s the best player in football, they’ll be inescapable. There hasn’t been a more punnable era in sports since Linsanity.

I actually like Luck, too, but Sunday was fun at least for a week. It was proof that the NFL makes no sense, definitely, and a disaster for suicide pools nationwide, but good for the Rams. If Andrew Luck had to die so Tavon Austin could live, it was worth it.

Elsewhere?

Eli Manning and Terrelle Pryor. Together they helped make Giants-Raiders pretty much unwatchable on Sunday. Games like that are what force people into buying RedZone, because watching two teams outsuck each other for three hours is too much to handle. For their part, T-Peezy and Eli combined for just 260 yards passing and three turnovers, and both earned top-five stats for this week’s standings.

This brings Eli to 295 points on the season, far and away the leader. The closest second is Jacksonville (254).

Bow to the God throwing it straight into Tracy Porter’s arms …

… and please, please, please, please let him win the Super Bowl somehow.

Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick still strikes fear into every single team he plays, and the Niners are still as dangerous as any team in the NFL. Right? If anything, a couple of their losses could make them underrated once the playoffs get here. Harbaugh, Kap, and that defense will be miserable to play against no matter what team they draw.

On the other hand … look at Kap’s numbers since that 400-yard game in Week 1. He’s thrown for more than 200 yards just once in the past two months. He’s completed 50 percent or worse four times (including all three losses), and he hasn’t thrown more than two touchdowns since that Packers game. Maybe he’s not quite as dangerous as he seems?

We’ll see. For now, he and his tortoise are still terrifying to bet against.

Other stuff:

1. We still have no idea whether Ryan Tannehill is good, and the Dolphins are such a mess that there’s a good chance it’s only going to get more confusing over the next few years. This means he’ll be bad for two out of every three games, but then on that third game he’ll be just good enough to make us rethink everything, and probably ruin any bet you have against Miami. It’s gonna be fun!

2. SCHIANO LIVES. An 0-16 season would’ve been such an amazing way to commemorate everything that’s happened in Tampa over the past 24 months. It wasn’t just the Dolphins who lost last night. We all did.

3. Just when people start to believe in the Bills, that Steelers game happens.

4. Red Rifle! Three picks Sunday, 47 percent passing on the day, and even after the Hail Mary, the Bengals couldn’t get it together. Cincy is 6-4, the Browns and Ravens are 4-5, and we have six weeks left. Please don’t blow this, Red Rifle. Come on.

And that’s it for this week. Everyone have an awesome day, and as usual, all hail Danny Savitzky. STATS:

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