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Grading the sophomore QBs: Week 2

By Josh Katzowitz | NFL Writer

Ryan Tannehill and Andrew Luck share a moment after the game. (USATSI)
Ryan Tannehill and Andrew Luck share a moment after the game. (USATSI)

We spent all of last season following the rookie quarterbacks, because 1) they were poised to represent the future of NFL signalcallers and 2) there were so damn many of them. You probably know about the five big ones (Andrew Luck, RG3, Russell Wilson, Ryan Tannehill and Brandon Weeden). But we also saw Nick Foles in Philadelphia, Kirk Cousins in Washington and Ryan Lindley in Arizona start games last season (now Foles is backing up Michael Vick, Cousins is behind Griffin again and Lindley is behind Carson Palmer and Drew Stanton with the Cardinals.

Let's take a look at how everybody fared in Week 2 in their second years in the league.

Ryan Tannehill: After saying that the team would not be forcing balls to his No. 1 receiver Mike Wallace -- even though Wallace was clearly upset after last week's game for making just one catch -- Tannehill and Wallace had some fantastic moments, as the two connected for nine catches for 115 yards and a touchdown. Tannehill finished 23 of 34 for 324 yards and a touchdown, and though he coughed up a fumble at an important point in the second half, Tannehill outdueled Andrew Luck in Indianapolis. It was a big win for the Dolphins and for Tannehill. Grade: A-

Andrew Luck: Facing off against Tannehill, Luck had to battle back from behind again. He was down 14-3 in the second quarter, but he helped tie the game at halftime Sunday. Unlike last week, though when the Colts survived the Raiders, the Dolphins took a 24-20 lead in the third quarter and Luck (25 of 43 for 321 yards, a touchdown and an interception) couldn't get his team back to the end zone. Down by four, Indianapolis had three drives in order to cut the Miami advantage or to take the lead. But the Colts had to punt, Andrew Luck was picked and then, on the final series, he was sacked on fourth down to end Indianapolis' chances. Grade: B

Robert Griffin III: A week after he looked terrible in the first half of the Redskins-Eagles game -- only to make a tremendous near-comeback in the second half -- Washington and Griffin struggled mightily for most of the game. At halftime, Griffin was 6 of 13 for 107 yards and a pick. Meanwhile, Aaron Rodgers accumulated 335 passing yards in the first half. If you're keeping track at home, that's more than three times as many passing yards as RG3. Clearly, there are major problems in Washington right now. And there are problems with Griffin as well. The result Sunday can't be blamed on Griffin, because Washington's defense was so putrid. But Griffin has a long way to go before he reaches his form from last year. Grade: C

Brandon Weeden: He sprained his thumb after hitting his hand on a helmet late in Cleveland's loss to the Ravens, and it's unclear at this point whether Weeden will be ready to play next week. Which could open the door for backup Jason Campbell to take Weeden's job, because so far, Weeden hasn't looked good in his second year in the league. Statistically, Weeden wasn't bad, going 21 of 33 for 227 yards, but he flat-out missed a wide-open Chris Ogbonnaya that most likely would have gone for a 62-yard touchdown. After the game, Ogbonnaya blamed himself, but Weeden said he should have put more air under the attempted pass. You have to wonder, depending how quickly Weeden's thumb heals, if he'll get another chance to rectify his mistakes sometime soon. Grade: C

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