RG3 Outclasses Other Rookie QBs in Debut

RG3 watches Pierre Garcon reach the end zone from his back. The TD pass covered 88 yards. Photo: Associated Press

Robert Griffin III (better known as RG3) led the Washington Redskins to an upset victory of the New Orleans Saints yesterday 40-32. Griffin looked more like a 10 year veteran than a guy starting his first NFL regular season game. RG3 finished the day 19-26 for 320 yards, and 2 TD throws. He also scampered for 42 yards on the ground. After trailing 7-3, RG3 calmly hit Pierre Garcon on a post rout. Garcon broke away from the defense and found the end zone 88 yards later. The Redskins took a 10-7 lead and never looked back. RG3 showed poise and leadership throughout the victory, and the D.C. faithful must be salivating. Grade – A

The much ballyhooed arrival of Andrew Luck officially started yesterday in Chicago. Luck showed some signs of the brilliance, but fell short of expectations for at least one game. Luck was 23 of 45 for 309 yards and a TD. Unfortunately, Luck threw 3 INT’s, was sacked three times, and lost a fumble. The Colts played from behind all day, and they only had 15 rushing attempts. The Colts will need to establish some assemblance of a running game or they and Luck will have a long and frustrating year. The Colts get Minnesota and Jacksonville at home the next two weeks. These are far from dominating D’s, so the Colts and Luck should be able to execute a more well-balanced offense. Grade – C

Russell Wilson and the Seahawks came in as a small favorite at Arizona. Wilson finished with some mediocre numbers as he was 18 for 34, for only 153 yards. He also threw one TD and was intercepted once. Down 20-16 with 4:59 remaining the game, Wilson drove the Seahawks down the Arizona 6. The Seahawks could only manage two yards and were stopped on 4th down with :21 remaining in the game.
Wilson is not the type of QB that is going to bring them back from three TD’s, but looks like he can run this team if they stay balanced. Grade – C

Of the 5 starting rookie QB’s, Ryan Tannehill arguably had the biggest challenge yesterday. He came in with a relatively weak offense, and was going up against one the best defenses in league in the Houston Texans. It turned out be ugly as expected. The Dolphins turned it over on three straight plays, and Tannehill threw three interceptions. Let’s just say, Mr. Tannehill had some accuracies issues. He ended up the day 20-36 for 219 yards, and those three interceptions. Tannehill and the Miami offensive were unable to punch it into the end zone. It is going to be a long year for the Miami Dolphins. Grade – D

In the ugliest game of the day, QB Brandon Weeden was just awful. The 28 year old rookie from Oklahoma State completed just 12 of 35 for 118 yds, and four INT’s. Yes four INT’s. Has anyone seen Brian Sipe? The Browns could use him. Despite the nightmare performance, the Cleveland Browns led until 1:23 of the 4th when the Eagles took a 17-16 lead. The Browns offense got the ball back with 1:18 remaining and down one, but on the first play of the drive K Coleman intercepted the Weeden pass intended for Massaquoi. This put a fork in the Browns. There is no way Weeden starts all 16 games for the Browns this year. Grade – F

It will be interesting to see how these young QB’s fair for the remainder of the year. They were an ugly 1-4 during Week 1. Can Robert Griffin III consistently duplicate his first week success throughout the season? He’ll face tougher D’s than the Saints showed, but you couldn’t script a better start for the kid out of Baylor.

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