words // Brandon Richard
Perhaps the most hyped up match of the NFL season took place Sunday night, when Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning returned to Indianapolis to take on Andrew Luck and the Colts for the first time since he was released by the team last year. The Colts moved on from the legendary quarterback to select Andrew Luck with the first overall pick in the 2012 Draft, after he was heralded as the best prospect at the position to come along since John Elway. Manning went on to sign a 5-year deal with the Broncos and both players have been great for their teams since.
In Sunday’s game, the Colts jumped out to a big first half lead, taking advantage of a Manning fumble for a safety to shift momentum. Luck threw three touchdown passes in the half to help lead the Colts to a 26-14 halftime advantage.
A 10-yard touchdown run by Luck stretched the lead to 33-14 midway through the fourth quarter. The Broncos would begin to rally behind a Demaryius Thomas touchdown reception and a 1-yard Knowshon Moreno touchdown run in the fourth quarter to make it 36-30. With the ball back and an opportunity to take a late-game lead, Manning threw an interception that would prove to be the difference in the game. A few questionable calls against the Broncos on the ensuing possessions closed the door on the team’s first loss of the season. For Luck, perhaps the statement he needed to make to prove to doubters that the Colts didn’t make a mistake in choosing him over Peyton.
In other Week 7 action, the Seattle Seahawks moved to 6-1 after rolling past the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday; Cincinnati increased its AFC North lead with a key victory over the Detroit Lions; a controversial call helped the New York Jets pull off an upset of the New England Patriots; Dallas topped division rival Philly in a surprising defensive battle; Robert Griffin III showed flashes of his old self as the Redskins rallied to beat the Bears 45-41; Kansas City became the first team to start 7-0 after having the worst record the previous season; another Steelers and Ravens game was decided in the final moments, Pittsburgh edging this one out 19-16; and the New York Giants picked up their first win of the season against the Minnesota Vikings on Monday night.
For a look at some of the football cleats that hit the field in these games and more, check out this week’s NFL Watch.
Andrew Luck – Nike Alpha Pro Low
Reggie Wayne – Reebok Zig Blaze Low
Marshawn Lynch – Nike Vapor Pro 3/4 TD PE
Harry Douglas – Nike Super Speed
A.J. Green – Nike Alpha Pro 3/4
Ryan Mathews – Under Armour Cam Highlight MC
Robert Griffin III – adidas Crazyquick
Cam Newton – Under Armour Highlight MC ’14
Terrance Williams – Nike Alpha Pro 3/4
Geno Smith – Nike Alpha Pro 3/4
Frank Gore – adidas adizero 5-Star
Jarrett Boykin – Nike Vapor Pro 3/4
Alex Smith – Nike Lunar Superbad Pro
Thad Lewis – Nike Alpha Pro Low
Emmanuel Sanders – Nike CJ81 Elite TD
Peyton Hillis – Nike Lunar Superbad Pro
images via Yahoo / Getty Images / AP Photo / USA Today
Andrew Luck poised under pressure in the Nike Vapor Talon Elite Low.
words // Brandon Richard
Like Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III will be forever linked as they continue to advance through their careers. In college, Luck was viewed as the ‘can’t miss’ prospect that no team would dare consider passing on…until Griffin III emerged. The man known as RG3 stole the spotlight with the Baylor Bears in 2011, winning the Heisman, numerous quarterback awards and the Alamo Bowl to put his extremely catchy name on the map. Luck was still Luck, toppling John Elway’s old records and racking up PAC-10 Awards for Stanford. He was still very much at the top of the discussion, but he fact that it was a discussion surprised many.
When the names were called at the 2012 NFL Draft, Luck went first overall to the Indianapolis Colts as expected, followed by Griffin at two to the Washington Redskins. Both teams felt confident that they had selected the quarterbacks that would guide them through the next decade and beyond, but they probably didn’t expect either player to be this good this soon.
This past Sunday, Luck led his Colts into Detroit where they faced a tough matchup with the Lions. Down 33-21 in the fourth quarter, Luck authored a comeback that will be talked about in Indy forever. He threw a 42-yard touchdown to LaVon Brazil to bring the Colts within 5 and then connected with Donnie Avery on 4th and 10 with three seconds left to play for the game-winning 14-yard score. Luck now has five winning drives in his rookie season.
RG3 also provided the drama in his first ever Monday Night Football Game. Hosting the defending champion New York Giants, the Redskins kept themselves in the game with a spirited defensive effort. Down 16-10 entering the fourth quarter, Griffin capped off an 86-yard drive with an 8-yard strike to Pierre Garçon to give Washington a slim 17-16 lead. To close things out, RG3 orchestrated a drive that ate up nearly four minutes of game clock, leaving Eli Manning without a chance to upstage him in their first Monday meeting.
Which quarterback is the better player? Good luck answering that.
Also in Week 13, the Atlanta Falcons topped the New Orleans Saints 23-13 on Thursday; Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks came back late in Chicago to surprise the Bears; Green Bay moved forward with a win over the visiting Vikings; the Kansas City overcame a tragic week of events to pick up their second win of the season; St. Louis topped San Francisco in overtime of the tie game re-match; Charlie Batch led Pittsburgh to a big road win in Baltimore; and the Dallas Cowboys kept themselves in the playoff discussion with a victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday Night.
Check out today’s NFL Watch to see what pink football cleats and gear hit the field in Week 13.
Robert Griffin III runs for 46 yards in the adidas SuperCharge Mid.
Matt Ryan drops back for a pass in the Nike Alpha Talon Elite 3/4.
Ryan Fitzpatrick rolls out in custom Reebok football cleats.
Marshawn Lynch runs strong in a custom colorway of the Nike Vapor Talon Elite 3/4.
Brady Quinn locates a target in the Nike Lunar Superbad Pro.
Aaron Rodgers walks off a hard hit in the Nike Alpha Speed D.
Stevan Ridley finds the endzone in the Under Armour Highlight.
Greg McElroy helped the Jets rally in the Nike Vapor Talon Elite 3/4.
Steven Jackson charges forward in the Nike Alpha Talon Elite 3/4.
Arian Foster leaves the field in the Under Armour Nitro Diablo.
Von Miller returns an interception for a touchdown in the adidas Malice 2 Fly.
Ryan Clarks flies to help make a tackle in the Under Armour Blur MC.
Trent Richardson scores in a PE colorway of the Nike Lunar Superbad Pro TD.
A.J. Green sheds tackles in the Nike Vapor Talon Elite 3/4.
DeMarco Murray returned to the Cowboys’ lineup in the adidas SuperCharge Mid.