NFL Power Rankings 2012: Teams That Will Rise with Rookie QBs
Cam Newton showed last season that a rookie quarterback can indeed make a difference for an NFL team, no matter its level of mediocrity.
Although the Carolina Panthers finished 6-10, they improved from their 2-14 mark in the 2010 season, while Newton went on to post impressive numbers, through the air and on the ground.
Here's a look at some rookie quarterbacks who will make a difference for their respective teams in 2012-2013.
Washington Redskins (Robert Griffin III)
The Redskins not only have an emerging young defense, they figure to score more points with Robert Griffin III behind center.
Griffin showed promise in the Redskins' opener against the Buffalo Bills, going 4-of-6 for 70 yards and connecting with new favorite receiver Pierre Garcon three times for 58 yards and a touchdown on one drive alone.
The Redskins averaged just 18 points last season. I doubt they do that again.
Miami Dolphins (Ryan Tannehill)
Ryan Tannehill's preseason opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was encouraging, as he went 14-of-21 for 167 yards and a touchdown.
Tannehill's second preseason game against the Carolina Panthers (11-of-23, 100 yards) wasn't as impressive, but Joe Philbin's declaration that he would be the starting quarterback for the team on Monday showed that the franchise has faith in him.
The Dolphins allowed just 19.6 points per game last season. If the offense can simply improve marginally, it could do wonders for the team.
Of course, the receiving corps has to step up, too.
Indianapolis Colts (Andrew Luck)
Who will rise the most this season?
OK, so the Colts aren't all of a sudden going to be world-beaters with Andrew Luck on their side, but I doubt they'll be the worst team in the league again.
After a 2-14 campaign last season, the Colts needed a serious jolt.
Enter Luck, who has already impressed against the St. Louis Rams and the Pittsburgh Steelers in the preseason.
After falling behind to the Steelers on Sunday, 14-0, Luck led the Colts to 17 unanswered points to end the first half. The kid is fearless and refused to let a pick-six and a sack defeat him.
NFL Power Rankings
|1. New York Giants||9-7|
|2. New England Patriots||13-3|
|3. San Francisco 49ers||13-3|
|4. Houston Texans||10-6|
|5. Green Bay Packers||15-1|
|6. Baltimore Ravens||12-4|
|7. Philadelphia Eagles||8-8|
|8. Atlanta Falcons||10-6|
|9. New Orleans Saints||13-3|
|10. Pittsburgh Steelers||12-4|
|11. Detroit Lions||10-6|
|12. Chicago Bears||8-8|
|13. Denver Broncos||8-8|
|14. Cincinnati Bengals||9-7|
|15. San Diego Chargers||8-8|
|16. Dallas Cowboys||8-8|
|17. Kansas City Chiefs||7-9|
|18. New York Jets||8-8|
|19. Tennessee Titans||9-7|
|20. Seattle Seahawks||7-9|
|21. Buffalo Bills||6-10|
|22. Arizona Cardinals||8-8|
|23. Washington Redskins||5-11|
|24. Carolina Panthers||6-10|
|25. Oakland Raiders||8-8|
|26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers||4-12|
|27. Miami Dolphins||6-10|
|28. Jacksonville Jaguars||5-11|
|29. Cleveland Browns||4-12|
|30. Indianapolis Colts||2-14|
|31. St. Louis Rams||2-14|
|32. Minnesota Vikings||3-13|
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