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Tale of the Tape: Andrew Luck vs. Robert Griffin III, Week 14

By Josh Katzowitz | NFL Writer

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 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 14: Despite a tough day, Luck rallied the Colts late to knock off the Titans, 27-23. Griffin's Redskins had to win it without him after he sprained his right knee, and he had to watch backup Kirk Cousins help lead the Redskins to a 31-28 overtime victory against the Ravens.

Passing stats

Luck: 26-34, 296 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions

Griffin: 15-26, 246 yards, one touchdown, zero interceptions

Rushing stats

Luck: Five carries, seven yards

Griffin: Seven carries, 34 yards

Longest play from scrimmage

Luck: He didn't have a ton to do with the success of this pass, besides stepping up in the pocket and tossing the ball toward T.Y. Hilton. Instead, it was Hilton who made this 31-yard play go by outrunning Coty Sensabaugh and Jordan Babineaux, before making a quick left turn at the sideline to grab a couple extra yards. Hilton drops more balls than he should, but he oftentimes can make Luck look pretty good as well.

Griffin: Midway through the first quarter, the Redskins were on their second offensive series after the Ravens had tied the game at 7. Griffin took the shotgun snap, faked the handoff, shuffled his feet in the pocket for a few instances and made a nice pass to Santana Moss, who was streaking across the field and went out of bounds after a gain of 31 yards.

Best play

Luck: This was more about the symbolism of the play than anything else. That's because when Luck hit Reggie Wayne for the 20-yard pass, he passed Peyton Manning (3,660) for the most passing yards ever by a rookie in Colts history. Oh, and it was a nice play as well, as Luck had to escape pressure in the pocket and then found Wayne in double coverage.

Griffin: A little more than five minutes into the game, Griffin struck the Ravens with the first score of the contest when he got good protection from his offensive line and waited for the perfect opportunity to throw the 4-yard touchdown strike to Josh Morgan. There were plenty of reasons besides Griffin that this play worked, but still, it was a pretty pass from him.

Worst play

Luck: It just so happened that Luck's worst moment happened to be a fantastic play for Titans linebacker Will Witherspoon, who showcased a quick reaction time when Luck fired a ball in his direction. Still, this was a bad play by Luck, who was getting sacked from behind when he threw the ball before he hit the turf. Except he winged it hard to Witherspoon, who then ran back the interception for the 40-yard touchdown.

Griffin: Aside from the scramble that got him injured by Haloti Ngata, Griffin flubbed a play late in the second quarter when he tried to option-pitch the ball to Alfred Morris. Instead, the slippery ball fell in front of Morris' feet, and the Redskins, who lost nine on the play, were lucky to recover.

Best pregame line

Luck: Andrew Luck is getting a crash course in rematch etiquette. The man who seemingly did it all in college never played the same team twice in one season until he jumped to the NFL. On Sunday, he'll get a second chance at playing a team twice when Tennessee visits Lucas Oil Stadium. -- Michael Marot, Associated Press

Griffin: To see how much influence Robert Griffin III is beginning to accumulate in the Washington, D.C., area, consider that the Washington Redskins quarterback is being given credit for helping the last-place Washington Wizards upset the reigning NBA champion Miami Heat Tuesday night. All he did was attend the game. Griffin smiled as he was informed about the credit. "Just say thank you. I don't know. What can you say?" Griffin said when asked after Wednesday's practice for his response. -- Edward Lee, Baltimore Sun

Best postgame line

Luck: Andrew Luck released the ball while falling forward, recklessly and riskily, as if his only aim were to free up his right hand to brace himself for a face plant. He should have known better. The rookie Indianapolis quarterback should have held on, hit the ground, taken a sack and awaited another opportunity. He should not have thrown caution to the wind, especially indoors, or thrown a pass so feeble that Tennessee linebacker Will Witherspoon could catch it at close range and return it for a touchdown. “I saw it on the Jumbotron,” Luck said Sunday. “I was hoping they would call me down, but [I] probably deserved a pick-six for trying to throw a football in that position, going down right at a defender. You learn from it and don't do it again, hopefully.” -- Tim Sullivan, Louisville Courier Journal

Griffin: The heart of the Washington Redskins lay on the cold, damp turf of FedEx Field late Sunday afternoon. And in the sick quiet that 80,000 people can make when the savior of their autumn has been broken, tight end Logan Paulsen heard a voice. "Help me up," said Robert Griffin III, suffering the pain of his just sprained right knee. "I've got to get to the huddle." So Paulsen did. And as the quarterback who has brought the Redskins on this unlikely playoff run hobbled around the grass, Paulsen realized that Griffin could barely walk. His mind raced. "What is the right thing to do here?" Paulsen asked himself. – Les Carpenter, Yahoo! Sports

Team savior scale (1-5)

Luck: There are some games where Luck just doesn't have it, and this was one of those performances. But hey, the Colts still got the win. Thanks, only in part, to Luck. He gets a 3 (last week was a 4; overall this season, he's a 70.8 percent team savior).

Griffin: He wasn't in position to win the game for his team -- in fact, his backup, Kirk Cousins, had to be the one to do it -- but Griffin did a nice job keeping up with the Ravens and setting the table for Cousins to come in and clean up. He gets a 3 (last week was a 4; overall this season, he's a 69.2 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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