Andrew Luck: Why Colts QB Will Outshine RGIII in Rookie Season
There is little question that the 2012-2013 NFL season features two of the most dynamic rookie quarterbacks in NFL history.
While neither Andrew Luck nor Robert Griffin III are guaranteed success, Andrew Luck is about as sure of a prospect as they come. Luck's performance in the preseason only furthered the notion that he will outshine RGIII in their rookie seasons. Here are a few reasons why.
Andrew Luck will be asked to carry the Colts
While judging based on preseason statistics is sometimes a fool's errand, in this case, pointing out that Luck threw 66 attempts to Griffin's 31 is an important observation.
A look at the rosters of their respective teams shows why this has to be.
Griffin will constantly be surrounded by running backs. Evan Royster, Roy Helu and even Alfred Morris will all garner significant carries. Mike Shanahan prefers a run-first offense, which will help ensure that Griffin will not have to do too much.
On the other hand, Luck will be forced to carry the offense right away. The Colts' offensive line is terrible at run-blocking, and their running backs are not nearly as talented as the Redskins'.
The Colts' own draft selections prove that they plan on throwing everything at Luck immediately. Right after drafting Luck, the Colts added three targets for the young quarterback in Coby Fleener, Dwayne Allen and T.Y. Hilton.
Expect Griffin to throw around 400 passes, while Luck should throw in excess of 500. That will matter when comparing the two's statistics, but more importantly, it will matter in the perception of Luck.
At the end of the season, Luck will be given the credit for carrying the offense for the Colts, while Griffin will only be viewed as a game-manager.
Andrew Luck plays in control
If there was one word to describe the way Luck plays quarterback, it would be controlled.
Watching Luck run an offense is like watching an expertly-done surgery. The precision and intelligence from Luck is simply incredible to behold.
Already, Luck looks to be in complete control of the offense. Luck completed well over 60 percent of his passes in the preseason, which is highly impressive for a rookie. More impressive is the fact Luck was guilty of just two turnovers.
That is the same amount of turnovers as Griffin had, but Luck was involved in significantly more plays than Griffin.
After his first interception against the Steelers, Luck could be seen on the sideline taking accountability for the pick. He then proceeded to lead the Colts up and down the field on the vaunted Steelers' defense.
You can't teach that kind of composure, and it guarantees that Luck will never string too many bad plays together. That's a rare trait for a rookie.
The Colts will be significantly better in 2012
The main reason Luck will be regarded as the better quarterback by season's end will be the quality of play of his team.
The Colts were abysmal last year. Envisioning them as a playoff contender was unfathomable not too long ago, even with Luck the presumed first overall pick in the draft.
Now, though, examining the AFC South and the Colts' quality of play, Luck looks like he has a very real chance to lead the Colts to the playoffs.
Their main competition will be a Houston Texans squad that lost multiple key pieces. The Titans also have a first-year starter at quarterback, while the Jaguars are simply not talented enough to compete.
That opens up an opportunity for Luck and the Colts.
The defense should be significantly better with Chuck Pagano calling the plays and new talent like Cory Redding and Tom Zbikowski.
More importantly, the offense will be leaps and bounds better from a year ago. Luck is definitely a competent quarterback, and he has a wealth of young talent surrounding him. Allen, Fleener and Hilton complement the Colts' returning stars like Reggie Wayne and Austin Collie.
At the very least, the Colts should threaten the Texans' supremacy over the division. That alone would be a dramatic turnaround, but I expect the Colts to earn a playoff spot.
The Redskins can't make the same claim. The Skins are in a tough division and lack young weapons for Griffin to take advantage of. They are at least a year away from challenging the Giants, Eagles and Cowboys for the NFC East crown.
Which quarterback will be more successful in his rookie year?
Ultimately, both of these quarterbacks should be judged on how many wins they earn, and how instrumental they were in those wins.
Luck should win more games than Griffin this season, and Luck will definitely have more responsibilities in his offense. With this in mind, there is no question that Luck will be the crown jewel of this rookie class by season's end.
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