Around the NFL  

 

Robert Griffin III's near-perfect game tops rookie QBs

Gregg Rosenthal will watch every rookie quarterback snap this season. He ranks them based on that week's performance only.

1. Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins

What a strange, awesome game by RG3. He only had one incompletion, but the Redskins offense was actually out of synch for much of the day. Their first eight drives totaled 119 yards, and 80 of those were on one drive. RG3 had a bomb to Aldrick Robinson on a blown coverage and threw a Hail Mary-type throw into double coverage that Santana Moss made a great play on.

Two of RG3's runs were backbreakers. He had a 10-yard run on third-and-6. He had a 23-yard run on third-and-14. Both set up touchdowns in the Redskins win over the Philadelphia Eagles. His fourth touchdown toss to Logan Paulsen was a beauty. Griffin held the ball too long on a few sacks early -- including a fumble -- but his accuracy remains uncanny. We can't wait to see him put on a show on Thanksgiving.

2. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts

Aside from RG3, it felt like the rest of the 2012 class hit the rookie wall at once. Luck gets the second spot easily because he still threw for 334 yards and two scores, making a number of sensational throws.

We charted more bad passes in this game from Luck than any other, but it started well. He was flawless on his first two drives and completed throws to well-covered receivers. His play at 1:59 of the video below shows how strong Luck is. Drops killed two of the Colts' drives.

The three interceptions were less about bad decisions and more about bad throws. The Colts just couldn't give up two return scores to the New England Patriots and hope to win.

3. Brandon Weeden, Cleveland Browns

Resident Browns homer Marc Sessler is troubled by Weeden's play lately. We can understand why. Weeden doesn't show great awareness to pressure around him. He had at least three throws that could have been picked off against the Dallas Cowboys, but weren't. He panicked a little under pressure and missed some routine throws. Overall, he didn't take advantage of great protection.

Weeden ranks third on a poor week for rookies because he did put together a nice drive with the game on the line to put Cleveland on the goal line with under two minutes to go. Trent Richardson couldn't finish the drive off, but Weeden delivered a nice touchdown toss after the Browns got the ball back. We'd view Weeden's game differently if the Browns defense didn't subsequently cough up the lead.

4. Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles

Foles looked better after watching Game Rewind than I thought watching the game Sunday. He did a nice job stepping up the pocket to deliver a few tough throws. One of his interceptions was a drop by Brent Celek. He wasn't accurate on the play below, but DeSean Jackson fell on the play.

The Eagles tried a lot of screens and short passes. Foles wasn't that accurate down the field and could have been picked off more. He looked like a rookie, but it could have been worse.

5. Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins

Tannehill's two worst games since the opener have come in succession. His game a week ago wasn't as bad as the numbers indicated, but Tannehill's Thursday night effort against the Buffalo Bills was poor. Inaccurate throws killed at least three drives. Tannehill was a little slow in making decision and gave up on third down plays too quickly in the loss.

His two interceptions came late while trying to catch up. It's worth noting Miami's running game and lack of speed at wide receiver is hurting Tannehill a great deal, not to mention his defense. His play has dipped, but we still strongly believe he's going to be a very good player.

6. Ryan Lindley, Arizona Cardinals

We felt bad for Lindley in the Cardinals loss to the Atlanta Falcons. The play below illustrates what he was up against. Lindley just missed a pair of deep throws that could have saved his day. He didn't look ready to play, but it's not helping matters when his fellow rookie Michael Floyd can't line up in the right spot. This was as ugly an overall passing performance -- including John Skelton -- as we've seen all season.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

Fan Discussion

NFL News
CONTENT
15