Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III shine on the same field

  • By Marc Sessler and Brian McIntyre
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Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III always will be linked. Taken first and second, respectively, in the 2012 NFL Draft, the rookie quarterbacks are the cornerstones in franchise-wide rebuilding projects for the Indianapolis Colts and Washington Redskins.

So far, so good.

RG3 showed off his athleticism and composure in his debut against the Buffalo Bills. He looked like a rookie in last week's loss to the Chicago Bears.

Luck, meanwhile, threw for a touchdown on his first NFL attempt (even if was a shovel pass) and has produced a healthy body of work for the Colts early in the preseason. Stepping out of Peyton Manning's shadow is the next challenge.

These two future stars faced each other for the first time in the Redskins' 30-17 preseason victory over the Colts on Saturday at FedEx Field.

We dispatched two of our Around the League correspondents, Marc Sessler and Brian McIntyre, to offer their takes on these two young guns.

Luck shows pocket poise

Luck came out on the wrong end of the field-possession battle early, having to begin his first two possessions of the "Pierre Garcon Bowl" inside his own 10-yard line. On the Colts' third possession, however, Luck showed why he's not your average rookie quarterback in engineering an 11-play, 80 yard touchdown drive.

After taking two sacks on the previous series, Luck showed improved awareness within the pocket on the touchdown drive.

On his first pass attempt of the third possession, Luck sensed pressure coming from his blind side, so he moved up in the pocket and to his right, then delivered a pass to Reggie Wayne 14 yards down the field, with the receiver adding 7 yards after the catch for a 21-yard gain. Up to that point, Luck only had one pass attempt of more than 9 yards.

To cap off that drive, Luck again felt pressure coming from the left side of the Colts' offensive line, stepped up and delivered a beautiful ball to T.Y. Hilton on an out-and-up route down the sideline for a 31-yard touchdown.

Short, quick passes and an alert quarterback with above average mobility will mask some of the Colts' protection issues this season.
-- Brian McIntyre

RG3 moves the troops

Griffin handled his home debut the way he has everything else: with poise and a little bit of flavor.

Griffin's escapability is no state secret, but let's not forget about that arm. This guy can wing it.

RG3 dialed it deep against the Colts three separate times in the first half. All three passes over-sailed the target -- which needs to be corrected -- but Washington didn't send its fastest wideouts on those plays.

I liked what I saw from RG3 on two first-half scoring drives. This is a patient quarterback who's not afraid to hang around when the pocket collapses. His totals -- 11-of-17 passing for 74 yards and one touchdown -- were vanilla, but RG3 moved the offense. He generated first downs with intermediate passes and showed flashes of chemistry with Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan.

Washington's offensive line remains a concern. Griffin was hassled by the Bears last week and faced pressure again Saturday. He fared better out of the shotgun against the Colts, but a less-mobile quarterback would be in trouble back there.

RG3 wasn't asked to save the world, but his progress should excite Redskins fans.
-- Marc Sessler

Brian McIntyre and Marc Sessler write for Around the League.