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Tale of the Tape: Andrew Luck vs. Robert Griffin III, Week 3

By Josh Katzowitz | NFL Writer
Neither Luck nor RG3 had a painless day last week. (AP)

The comparisons are inevitable. Andrew Luck, the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2012, and No. 2 pick Robert Griffin III will be scrutinized throughout the season, and probably throughout their careers, unless one of them does his best Ryan Leaf impersonation. And RG3 always will be looked at through a prism of Luck. That's why we're compiling all the most important stats for every game they play this year, and some of the most unimportant aspects of those contests as well. This way it'll be easier to tell who is his team's savior and who should be forced to join JaMarcus Russell in the corner away from the rest of civilization.

Week 3: Luck's Colts watched as the Jaguars scored a last-minute touchdown to beat Indianapolis 22-17, and Griffin's Redskins couldn't complete the comeback attempt vs. Cincinnati, losing 38-31.

Passing stats

Luck: 22-46, 313 yards, two touchdowns, one interception

Griffin: 21-34, 221 yards, one touchdown, zero interceptions

Rushing stats

Luck: Four carries, 50 yards

Griffin: 12 carries, 85 yards, one touchdown

Longest play from scrimmage

Luck: On his first deep ball of the game, Luck found fellow rookie T.Y. Hilton for a 40-yard touchdown pass to give the Colts a 7-3 lead.

Griffin: Down 14 points with about 6 minutes to go and no timeouts, Griffin kept alive what would turn out to be Washington's last scoring drive with a 29-yard pass to tight end Fred Davis.

Best play

Luck: It wasn't the prettiest pass of the day -- Hilton's touchdown probably was -- but Luck's 4-yard touchdown pass to Mewelde Moore was the culmination of a long 14-play, 80-yard drive that Luck orchestrated to give his team a 14-3 lead late in the first half. He looked like a veteran on this series.

Griffin: With the Redskins trying to keep themselves in the game, Griffin went off right tackle to run in for the 2-yard touchdown that made it 38-31 Bengals. In reality, though, Griffin's best work of the day came on that entire 12-play drive when he completed 8 of 10 passes for 93 yards.

Worst play

Luck: Leading 14-10 midway through the third quarter, Luck did what he normally hasn't done since he's been in the league -- make a terrible throw about four yards short that was intercepted by Paul Posluszny. It was meant for Reggie Wayne, but the pass wobbled and went into the hands of Jacksonville's linebacker. Hey, at least Luck hustled to make the tackle.

Griffin: Already, the Bengals defense was hurting the Redskins, and Griffin made it worse when he fumbled on what was going to be an option pitch late in the second quarter. He was tackled by Carlos Dunlap, and the Bengals recovered.

Best pregame line

Luck: Luck's ability to make plays with his feet is one of the most underrated aspects of his game. Through two weeks, the Indianapolis Colts rookie quarterback has shown strong pocket presence, more than adequate athleticism and a surprising level of escapability. None of those things helps Colts head coach Chuck Pagano rest easier when he sees Luck leave the pocket. -- George Bremer, Herald Bulletin

Griffin: When his braided locks bob from the back of his helmet Sunday almost like a spoiler attached to the rear of a Bugatti racer, when Robert Griffin III stylishly jogs onto FedEx Field and is euphorically introduced to 80,000 of his new peripheral friends, many of whom will wear a replica of his No. 10 jersey, a milepost will have been reached.

Oh, it's not about all the firsts -- “first starting NFL QB born in the 1990s” or “first to throw for more than 300 yards in winning his first NFL game” or, heck, “first starting QB with braided hair -- ever.” No, it's the tantalizing reality after just two games that a young and spectacular player behind center already has given indications he can . . . last; that the job is his for years to come. -- Mike Wise, Washington Post

Best postgame line

Luck: Andrew Luck again showed brilliant flashes, but also made some key mistakes. "Big finger needs to be pointed at me, and I'm sure everybody feels like they have something to clean up, but it's not the end of the world, I think there are things that can be fixed." -- Chris Widlic, WISH TV

Griffin: One sign at FedEx Field on Sunday read, "RGIII for President." The admiration for Robert Griffin III was transparent during the rookie quarterback's home debut in the Redskins' 38-31 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. But much like the President with secret service agents, NFL quarterbacks need linemen for protection. Griffin didn't get much of it on this afternoon. -- Steve Gleeson, USA Today

Team savior scale (1-5)

Luck: For being pretty good but not great, he gets a 3 (last week was a 5; overall this season, he's a 73 percent team savior)

Griffin: For being badly hurt by the Bengals defense in the first half, he gets a 2 (last week was a 2; overall this season, he's a 60 percent team savior)

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, and subscribe to our Pick-6 Podcast and NFL newsletter. You can follow Josh Katzowitz on Twitter here: @joshkatzowitz.

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