Tale of the Tape: Andrew Luck vs. Robert Griffin III, Week 7
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.
|Griffin won high marks from his play Sunday, even if his team lost. (US Presswire)|
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 7: Luck's Colts relied more on the running game than usual, but Luck still managed to play a big role in the 17-13 victory against the Browns. Griffin's Redskins kept pace with the Giants, ultimately falling, 27-23, but afterward, New York’s defenders couldn’t stop fawning over the talent of Griffin.
Luck: 16-29 passes for 186 yards, no touchdowns, no interceptions
Griffin: 20-28 for 258 yards, two touchdowns, one interception
Luck: Three carries, 12 yards, two touchdowns
Griffin: Nine carries, 89 yards
Longest play from scrimmage
Luck: On the first play from scrimmage, Luck threw an accurate 30-yard pass to Reggie Wayne across the middle. It was a nice way for the Colts to start the day.
Griffin: On one of the prettiest plays of the game -- not to mention the most important -- Griffin lofted a 30-yard touchdown pass to Santana Moss that gave Washington a short-lived lead with 1:27 remaining.
Luck: Both of his running touchdowns were solid plays, but I liked the second one a bit more. Using play-action, Luck ran a bootleg and outraced Browns defensive lineman Jabaal Sheard to the end zone. The first touchdown run was more of a scramble; the second one was for Luck.
Griffin: With two minutes to play and the Redskins deep in their own territory and facing a fourth-and-10, Griffin’s acrobatics allowed him to elude Jason Pierre-Paul and hit Logan Paulsen for a fantastic conversion.
Luck: There wasn’t much to choose from in this game. Late in the first half with the Colts leading 14-6, Luck had a chance to hit LaVon Brazill for what probably would have been a touchdown after he beat Sheldon Brown. But Luck’s throw was over Brazill’s head and out of bounds. If he had led Brazill and kept it in-bounds, the Colts would have led by 15 going into halftime.
Griffin: With both teams scoreless in the third quarter, the Redskins had the chance to break the tie. But with Washington in Giants territory, Griffin threw a terrible pass that went directly to New York safety Stevie Brown. On the ensuing drive, New York took the lead.
Best pregame line
Luck: While touring the Pro Football Hall of Fame in June, quarterbacks Brandon Weeden and Andrew Luck had a chance encounter in front of the Dan Marino bust. It was the final day of the NFL rookie symposium and first-year players from AFC teams strolled through the Canton shrine along with other fans. Sensing a Weeden-Luck photo-op, excited patrons whipped out camera phones like gunslingers reaching for their holsters. -- Tom Reed, Cleveland Plain Dealer
Griffin: So far, there is still no blueprint for defending Robert Griffin III. After Sunday, there might be. The NFL’s newest superstar, as dynamic a playmaker as anyone who has recently come onto the scene, has been humming along with a passer rating over 105 and a completion percentage over 70, rushing for over 63 yards per game while leading the Redskins to over 29 points a game. Griffin, however, has yet to run up against a defense as fierce or accomplished as the one the Giants will throw at him Sunday. Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell has been pretty successful in shutting down running quarterbacks, although, conversely, they haven’t faced anyone like him, either. -- Hank Gola, NY Daily News
Best postgame line
Luck: This wasn't a monster game for Andrew Luck and the passing game, but it didn't need to be. They bogged down terribly in the second half. Luck was sacked three times, although I'd say two of those were on Luck. There were two bad dropped passes, at least. The Colts never really got much going downfield. Once again, Reggie Wayne turned back time and, resplendent in orange, had a strong game. (If the NFL fines him, I'm taking up a collection. Even though he can afford it). They'll have to be better, much better, if they're ever going to win on the road. -- Bob Kravitz, Indianapolis Star
Griffin: If you live in the NFC East you better beat the one-man band that is Robert Griffin III now, because it’s your last chance. One day soon, maybe sooner than soon, the kid will get a little more around him, erase the last of his occasional youthful misjudgments and be unstoppable. That was the message to take from the New York Giants’ 27-23 victory over the Washington Redskins: The Redskins’ rivals better enjoy it now, because there is an absolute wolf at their door. -- Sally Jenkins, Washington Post
Team savior scale (1-5)
Luck: The Colts' passing game was unimpressive, but Luck impacted the game positively with his legs. Indianapolis isn’t a playoff-caliber team, but Luck could make it that way sooner rather than later. He gets a 4 (last week was a 2; overall this season, he’s a 73.3 percent team savior).
Griffin: If the Redskins get the win, there’s no question Griffin would have received a 5. But, through little fault of his own, the Giants survived. Therefore, Griffin gets a 4 (last week was a 5; overall this season, he's a 68.6 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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