Matt Schaub vs. Andrew Luck was a very popular topic here at the AFC South blog during the 2012 season and after it.
Certainly Luck has more upside. He’s the better athlete. But he’s only heading into his second season. Schaub has the advantage in experience and at this moment I maintain the more talented roster surrounds him.
The Schaub number surprised many, including me.
But as the Houston Chronicle's John McClain pointed out in a piece I linked to Monday morning in my RTC file, Schaub has taken more than his fair share of the blame for the Texans' late-season fade and second-round playoff loss in New England. He was bad. But if he’s crushed for that, shouldn’t it be offset by him also getting disproportionate credit for the team’s big start and overall success last year?
How Schaub and the Texans adjust to the things that hurt the offense last year will be a big story in Houston this year.
How Luck functions behind an upgraded offensive line but minus Bruce Arians, who pushed the ball very effectively as the team’s offensive coordinator last year, will be a big story in Indianapolis this year.
He’s not as well-known as Peyton Manning, but Andrew Luck is still selling NFL jerseys for the Indianapolis Colts.
In fact, Luck currently has the 19th-highest jersey sales of any player in the NFL. Former Colts quarterback Peyton Manning sits at the number five-spot, as he enters his second season as a member of the Denver Broncos. In the 19th spot, Luck’s jersey sits right behind Green Bay Packers‘ linebacker Clay Matthews, and right before Dallas Cowboys’ tight end, Jason Witten.
The major surprise of these current jersey sales may be the fact that so many young quarterbacks are selling ahead of Luck. Second-year quarterbacks Russell Wilson (2nd), and Robert Griffin III (3rd) were neck-and-neck with Luck for the Rookie of the Year award last season, but are both way ahead of the Colts quarterback in jersey sales. Second-year Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill was right behind Manning, with the 5th-highest sales of his jersey. Third-year quarterback Colin Kaepernick currently leads the NFL in jersey sales.
There is several questions concerning the reason for Luck to be so far behind his youthful peers in marketability. Are these quarterbacks that much better than Luck? Are these players that much more exposed and elevated by the media? Are the rest of the NFL fans waiting to see more of Luck in public, or on the field? Are these jersey sales a product of Luck being a more low-profile player? Did most of the Colts fans buy a Luck jersey last year?
One other thing may be true. Andrew Luck is probably not nearly as concerned about his jersey sales, as opposed to anyone who is reading (or was writing) this article. The kid doesn’t need commercials or kisses on his biceps, all he needs to do is win.