Here’s a week-by-week fantasy breakdown of Manning vs. Luck … just in case you’re torn on which quarterback offers better value in Round 3:
Week 1—Manning (@ Dallas) over Luck (vs. Oakland) Week 2—Luck (vs. Miami) over Manning (vs. Denver) Week 3—Manning (@ Carolina) over Luck (@ San Francisco) Week 4—Manning (@ Kansas City) over Luck (@ Jacksonville) Week 5—Manning (vs. Philadelphia) over Luck (vs. Seattle) Week 6—Luck (@ San Diego) over Manning (@ Chicago) Week 7—Luck (vs. Denver) over Manning (vs. Minnesota) Week 8—Manning (@ Philadelphia) over Luck (BYE) Week 9—Luck (@ Houston) over Manning (BYE) Week 10—Manning (vs. Oakland) over Luck (vs. St. Louis) Week 11—Luck (@ Tennessee) over Manning (vs. Green Bay) Week 12—Manning (vs. Dallas) over Luck (@ Arizona) Week 13—Luck (vs. Tennessee) over Manning (@ Washington) Week 14—Manning (@ San Diego) over Luck (@ Cincinnati) Week 15—Luck (vs. Houston) over Manning (vs. Seattle) Week 16—Manning (@ Detroit) over Luck (@ Kansas City) Week 17—Luck (vs. Jacksonville) over Manning (vs. Washington)
Manning springs a 9-8 upset over Luck
1. We’re splitting hairs with the matchups from Weeks 1, 4, 7, 11, 12 and 16, reiterating just how close Manning (3,948 yards passing, 26 TDs) and Luck (4,374 yards passing, 28 TDs) should be during the August drafts.
2. At first blush, Luck’s Week 1 matchup with the Raiders seems like an easy victory for the Colts quarterback. But of Manning’s last six outings against the Cowboys, he boasts per-game averages of 302 yards passing and two touchdowns.
3. Has it really been eight years since Manning had to endure the wrath of Chargers fans at Qualcomm Stadium, as a penance for forcing a draft-day trade to the Giants in 2004? For what it’s worth, Manning threw for 352 yards and two touchdowns in his only NFL trip to San Diego. (He’ll return to SoCal for Week 14.)
4. As a rookie, Luck averaged only 235 yards passing and 1.7 touchdowns against AFC South foes. And yet, he gets the nod (over Manning) in his final five intra-divisional outings for 2013.
5. For the playoff period of Weeks 13-16, Luck and Manning each took honors twice.
6. Luck averaged 259.4 yards passing and 2.2 TDs against playoff teams last season. Manning, in turn, accounted for 226 yards passing and one touchdown.