Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III will always be compared to one another, being the No. 1 and No. 2 picks of the 2012 NFL Draft, but which young quarterback has impressed the most so far in 2012?
When evaluating quarterbacks, there are a handful of key categories to look at: accuracy, yards per attempt, touchdown/interception ratio and of course, wins.
Accuracy and yards per attempt tell us how efficient a quarterback is within the framework of an offense, turnover margins give us a good look at decision-making and wins speak for themselves.
Let's take a look at how both of these remarkable young men rate in these categories.
When you compare both quarterbacks side by side, it's clear that Griffin does more with less, meaning his production compared to his attempts is greater than Luck's.
Here are both quarterback's efficiency stats:
Luck has thrown the ball 100 times more than Griffin, completing eight percent less of his passes.
The two are nearly identical when it comes to yards per attempt, but Luck has a one-yard edge when it comes to yards per catch.
Pro Football Focus (subscription required) evaluates every player on every snap, and one of its signature stats for quarterbacks is "accuracy percentage", which "accounts for dropped passes, throw aways, spiked balls, batted passes, and passes where the quarterback was hit while they threw the ball - factors that hurt the quarterback's completion percentage but don't help show how accurate they are."
By their grading, Griffin's accuracy percentage is 79.7 percent, while Luck's is way lower, at 69.2 percent.
Luck throws the ball far more often than Griffin—by a margin of approximately 10 times per game. Therefore, it makes sense that his interception totals might be higher than Griffin's, and they are.
Here are their touchdown/interception stats:
Both have also fumbled the ball multiple times this season, but Luck has lost four, while RG3 has only lost two (h/t TeamRankings.com).
Furthermore, RG3 has rushed for six touchdowns, while Luck has rushed for five.
When we put it all in a pot and boil it up, here's what we find:
- Luck: 15 touchdowns and 13 turnovers.
- RG3: 14 touchdowns and five turnovers.
In the NFL, wins trump all else.
Luck has led his team to a 6-3 record, while Griffin has led his team to a 3-6 record.
As a part of this analysis, it's important to point out that Luck has led his team on four game-winning drives, while Griffin has only led his team on one—a major reason why one quarterback is in the playoff hunt and the other is not.
It's easy to take a look at stats and say that Griffin has been better than Luck through Week 10. The truth of the matter is quite a bit different, however.
Griffin has the benefit of playing with one of the NFL's leading rushers—rookie Alfred Morris, who has rushed for 793 yards and five touchdowns. He isn't asked to carry his offense the way Luck does, and his numbers are more "impressive" as a result.
Which rookie QB has been more impressive in 2012?
The leading rusher for the Colts is Donald Brown, who has rushed for just 361 yards and one touchdown. In fact, the Colts only have two rushing touchdowns by running backs, compared to the Redskins' six.
Luck hasn't been as efficient or as careful with the ball as Griffin, but in the end, my analysis tells me he's been the better quarterback so far in 2012.