The NFL featured five teams starting rookie quarterbacks in Week One. Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III was the only signal caller which came away with a win and was impressive while recording a victory. The two most notable quarterbacks of the 2012 NFL Draft were Griffin and Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck. For the duration of their careers, they will always be compared. Their careers are only one game old, so let’s not get too high on RG III or too low on Andrew Luck.
RG III’s performance was impressive but of all the rookie signal callers, he faced the weakest defense. Browns QB Brandon Weeden was the only rookie to open at home but faced a swarming Eagles defense. Russell Wilson faced the Arizona Cardinals while Ryan Tannehill lined up against the Houston Texans. Luck faced the Chicago Bears.
Let’s compare RG III and Luck’s numbers from Sunday. Griffin completed 19 of 26 passes for 320 yards, two scores and rushed for 42 yards. He finished the game with an impressive 139.9 passer rating. Luck was the only other rookie to throw for over 300 yards on Sunday. Luck completed 23 of 45 passes for 309 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. Luck finished with a 52.9 passer rating.
Griffin’s team never trailed against the Saints while the Colts trailed after mid-way through the first period. Griffin benefited from a few things on Sunday. The Saints were operating on defense under a new scheme employed by a new coordinator. Mike Shanahan holds the best record on opening day of any active coach.
Because of the fact the Redskins jumped out to an early led, RG III was not put in the same position as Luck. The Redskins ran the ball 44 times while by the start of the third quarter, the Colts were trailing 31-14 and only attempted 15 rushes on the afternoon.
Yes, RG III is the only quarterback to throw for over 300 yards, toss two scores while not having an interception in his rookie debut in NFL history. His 320 yards are the fourth most yards thrown by a rookie in his debut. I understand the excitement in Washington today, it appears that the team might have finally solidified the quarterback position for years to come, something which has been lacking in Washington for decades. But let’s not get too low on Andrew Luck either, both of these quarterbacks will be lighting up the league for years to come.