Each week, we watch as much Game Rewind as possible. And it's still not enough. Superstorm Sandy cut down on our time this week, but we can still share a few things we've learned about one of the weekend's biggest matchups.
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We're a little surprised this Sunday's Miami Dolphins-Indianapolis Colts game isn't getting more attention. Perhaps it's because of Ryan Tannehill's knee injury, but all indications are that he will play. He took the majority of first-team reps in practice all week and it would be a shocker if he didn't play.
This is the first time in NFL history two top 10 rookie quarterbacks have met up with winning records. It's only the sixth matchup of top 10 rookie quarterbacks, period.
Perhaps this game isn't getting the attention it deserves because people haven't watched these two rookie quarterbacks much yet. They haven't been on national TV. They have been on Game Rewind and I don't think the country has caught up yet to how terrific both players have been.
Surprising things about Tannehill
- He's great at the little things. He changes plays at the line of scrimmage. He tries to quick snap the opposing defense at the right time. He can run the two-minute drill very effectively.
There were some jokes about Tannehill in HBO's "Hard Knocks" after he didn't know the NFL divisions, but he plays like a very sharp quarterback. The game doesn't seem too fast for him.
- He stands so tall in the pocket. There was criticism before the draft that Tannehill would take a while to get comfortable at the NFL level. Instead, he handles pressure beautifully. He ignores it.
- He avoids mistakes. Tannehill didn't throw an interception in October. This is a remarkable feat because Tannehill is very willing to make tough throws with his big arm. He goes to secondary receivers.
In any other season, Tannehill would be a huge story for his superlative play. Luck and RG3 have outshined him, but they haven't outplayed him by much, if at all.
Surprising things about Luck
- I didn't know how fun Luck would be to watch. He's an escape artist when avoiding sacks and he's very aggressive as a thrower. (Like Tannehill.) That aggression is going to lead to interceptions, but Luck shows a lot of confidence in a rather suspect receiver group after Reggie Wayne.
Luck had a reputation as a somewhat unflashy prospect, but the guy drops in as many "wow" throws as anyone in the game. This is a vertical offense that asks a lot of Luck. Luck is a rookie quarterback raising the level of the players around him. That's rare.
- It's early, but I'm convinced Luck is playing at a higher level than at least half of the starting quarterbacks in the league already. This isn't supposed to happen with rookies.
Miami's defense and offensive line are playing at a very high level. They are a better team overall than the Colts, so Luck will have to be at his very best to get a win at home Sunday.
We will enjoy the show, because a rookie matchup like this doesn't come around too often.