Amazing study on QB's in playoffs. One of the key things I found, average starting field position per drive.
Where the average LOS is for each drive by QB.
Russ 33.91 (34 yard line)
Neil O'Donnell 33.33
Brett Favre 33.22
Jim Kelly 33.18
Troy Aikman 33.12
Andrew Luck 24.03
Peytom Manning, 27.10
Colts related, obviously.
So the young guy on the great defensive team (Wilson) has the best field position, while the one-man show (Luck) has the worst. These things write themselves sometimes. Seriously, are the Colts going to do the same thing with Luck that they did with Manning all those years? No quarterbacks studied have a lower percentage of drives starting in opponent territory than Manning and Luck. At least we can cite the 2011 kickoff rule change for some of Luck's low average, but that does nothing to explain Wilson ranking at the top. That defense really helps, as does recovering an onside kick at midfield.
There seems to be a thick line drawn between where people stand with Luck's playoff turnovers. Either you think they are a huge problem, or you brush them off. I lean towards the latter, because eight of his 12 interceptions have come when trailing by at least 14 points. His first playoff interception was in Baltimore, down 15 points late, and that was a tipped ball on fourth down. He threw another when trailing by nine points in New England, yet that bounced off of Stanley Havili's shoulder. In New England a year ago, he threw one poor pick with the game tied, which led to an early deficit. Luck has two interceptions while leading by 7 to 11 points, which both came on third-and-long in Denver this year, basically serving as punts. On Sunday in New England, he was not intercepted until he trailed by 24 points in the third quarter. He also was picked when trailing by 38 in the fourth quarter, and he had an interception in the final minute of last year's loss when trailing by 21 points. So in my view, most of Luck's interceptions either have not been his fault or just didn't have any impact on the game.
Incredibly, Luck has already thrown five playoff interceptions when trailing by at least 21 points, the most in the NFL since at least 1998 (and possibly since 1984). Two of those five even came in that comeback win against Kansas City. Of the 33 quarterbacks studied here, only John Elway (five) and Dan Marino (seven) had at least as many interceptions as Luck while down 21-plus points. Given the small sample size of the postseason, Luck may already rank in the top three in this category after just six playoff games. Who else could be up there? So until we start seeing Luck make more big mistakes when the game is competitive, I do not see this as a concern going forward.
Mandatory mention: Dan Marino trailed by at least three scores on 23.4 percent of his postseason drives. Suddenly, 8-10 with some less-than-stellar stats makes more sense. Luck is not far behind at 20.3 percent.
Dan Marino had 48 drives start down by 3 scores. Next closest? Brett Favre, with 23. Favre had those 23 in 274 drives.
Marino had 205. Again, Dan Marino was trailing by THREE scores, on 48 of his 205 playoff drives. "Pro Bowlers"
Joe Montana trailed by 3 scores or more on 7 drives, out of 248
As always, kneel down drives are excluded, and any kneel down is removed from the drive stats.
Because of the poor field position, the "longest TD drives" basically are reverse order, in a sense.
Andrew Luck 72.6 yards
Peyton Manning 72.2
Tony Rom 71.4
Jeff Garcia 71.4
Luck has a 70 yard TD drive on 11 of his 69 playoff drives. Of his 14 playoff TD drives, 11 being from 70+ yards.