When you talk about sports there is always some team or someone being compared…Magic vs. Bird, Jim Brown vs. Walter Payton, Barry Sanders vs. Emmitt Smith, the 1985 Chicago Bears defense vs. the 2000 Baltimore Ravens defense, and without further adieu we bring you the newest in Andrew Luck vs. Robert Griffin III. For those that are fans fo the Colts or Redskins, we know you’re biased and this is more for the NFL fan who can stay objective.
So who is better??
From the Heisman Trophy presentation in New York, through the combines and the NFL Draft, these two have been compared extensively to one another. Right now, both the Washington Redskins and Indianapolis Colts feel they have their man. Although Washington has a 5-6 record at the present time, there is a new energy and excitement this team is building on this year. Do you realize that when the ‘Skins and RG III beat Minnesota 38-26 back in October, they broke an 8 game losing streak at home?? At home?? The final touchdown was a 76 yard touchdown run off of a scramble that iced the game. For many, this is the stark difference between the two quarterbacks.
However upon further review of Griffin III’s passing statistics (205 of 304 for 2,497 yards 13TDs and 4 ints), you notice that he’s completing 67.4% of his passes and has a 1.3% interception ratio. At the moment his passing percentage is higher than Tom Brady’s 65% and has a lower interception ratio than Aaron Rodgers at 1.7%. When he has gone back to pass, he’s made plays from the pocket just like his first TD to Pierre Garcon against the Saints in week 1. Yet his detractors aren’t giving him credit for this. Sure he has made some spectacular plays on the run but his nerve with the clock winding down is something he displayed even back at Baylor.
In the aforementioned game with Minnesota, the Vikings had just scored to come within a touchdown and had the momentum. On second down, the pocket broke down and Griffin III scrambled for the first down before a downfield block opened it up for him to take it to the house. A very improptu play. The following week, his Redskins faced a fourth and 10 play with less than 4 minutes to go. After a scramble and throw for the first down, he calmly led the Redskins for what looked like a game winning drive. Once at the 30, RGIII perfectly read a Giants blitz and feathered a pass to Santana Moss who had adjusted and run a corner route. With less than 1:30 to go in the game it appeared to be the game winner. However Eli Manning’s 77 yarder to Victor Cruz won it for New York 27-23 on the next play, but Griffin had done his part.
Speaking of doing their part…
Wasn’t the Indianapolis Colts supposed to struggle under the weight of a rookie coach and quarterback?? Now consider the fact that Head Coach Chuck Pagano has missed the last four games. How much leadership has Luck had to display as a rookie?? Might be the most in NFL history when you really give it some serious thought. The reality is with his being drafted to replace Peyton Manning, he has two quarterbacks to be compared to…so let’s start with the obvious: Luck v. Peyton Manning.
If you look at what Luck has had to endure as a rookie versus Peyton, keep in mind Manning had Jim Mora who was in his second stint as a successful NFL Head Coach, although was in his first year with Indianapolis. The steadying hand of a coach who had been there before along with future Hall of Fame running back Marshall Faulk, kept Manning from feeling the weight of the franchise on him. He also had a young dynamic Marvin Harrison at wideout where now the top wideout is an elder version of Reggie Wayne.
Wayne has helped ease Luck into the mix like Marshall and Harrison did for Manning. Unfortrunately this year’s Colts are 17th in rushing which has put the onus back on Luck and the passing attack. This year’s statline isn’t that bad where Luck’s completed 56.8% of his passes, completing 255 of 449 for 3,205 yards 13 TDs along with 13 interceptions. Yet let’s ask the question: With this year’s mediocre running attack (Ballard 427 yds / Donald Brown 404 yds) how often has Luck had to throw into the teeth of defenses?? Seriously?? Do you realize Colt running backs have combined for just one touchdown this year??
Before we give you Luck’s rushing totals, remember Peyton Manning had Marshall Faulk come within 92 receiving yards of joining Roger Craig as the second 1000/1000 yard running back. Faulk ran for 1,319 yards 6TDs while catching 86 passes for 902 yards and another 6 scores. With that help Peyton Manning completed 56.7% of his passes, 3,739 yards, 26 touchdowns and 28 interceptions. So with less, Luck has done more than his predecessor’s rookie season. Especially when you factor the 2012 Colts record of 7-4 vs. the 1998 Colts going 3-13.
So where one school of thought doesn’t give RGIII his due as a passer, Luck’s detractors overlook the fact he’s rushed 41 times for 183 yards and a team leading 5 touchdowns. That only gives him one less rushing touchdown than the 6 RGIII has for the Redskins. However RGIII has run twice as often with 100 attempts for 642 yards and is just off pace from a 1,000 yard season. Yet Luck isn’t glued to the passing pocket and can run when he needs to.
In RGIII’s rookie year he’s had the benefit of a two time Super Bowl winning coach (Mike Shanahan) and a veteran laden squad as compared to the Colts, who are rebuilding on the run. The Washington Redskins are 5-6 and have a two game home winning streak. They are much better than they have been over the last decade or so and have a promising future thanks to their rookie quarterback. Yet when you look on the other side of the conference ledger at the 7-4 Colts, Luck has made that team relevant faster than our CEO originally thought, and it’s hard to believe how hope with his play and future has drowned out the despair over Manning’s departure.
Each have an edge over the other whether we’re talking stats or wins and playoff position. You thought we were going to conclude this argument?? We just want to pour gas on the fire. Much like Barrack Obama and Mitt Romney… their followers aren’t going to be swayed. The beauty of this one is that each has gone to the other conference and a possible Super Bowl matchup between the two could happen.
How do we know which veterans right now are looking at Washington and Indianapolis as future free agent destinations because of these two?? What happens if somehow the Colts draft Le’Veon Bell, RB from Michigan State or Kenjon Barner RB from Oregon?? Think that would pull up the defense and allow Luck some passing room?? What happens if the Redskins draft Baylor wideout Terrance Williams (1,693 yds/ 12TDs) to reunite with RGIII and this year’s draftee Leonard Hankerson?? How much more potent will the Redskins be??
In Washington and Indianapolis, the future is bright!! So the question is: Robert Griffin III or Andrew Luck?? The choice is yours…
Thanks for reading and please share the article….