Injuries Won't Dampen Robert Griffin III's Rookie of the Year Campaign

Chris Stephens@@chris_stephens6Correspondent IIDecember 17, 2012

Robert Griffin III is the clear choice for Rookie of the Year.
Robert Griffin III is the clear choice for Rookie of the Year.Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

The Washington Redskins may have to put Robert Griffin III in bubble-wrap, but the quarterback is still the top rookie in the NFL.

The NFL Rookie of the Year will no doubt come down to RGIII and Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts.

While it would be hard to argue against Luck, this article will attempt to do so.



One of the major knocks against RGIII is the fact that he's been injured a few times this year.

He was first injured against the Atlanta Falcons when he didn't slide for a first down. Instead, he took a blow to the head from Sean Weatherspoon's shoulder, knocking him out of the game with a concussion.

Last week, Griffin sustained another injury. This time, it was a knee sprain that sidelined him Sunday against the Cleveland Browns.

Some voters for the award will give Luck the award based solely on Griffin's injuries. While it's hard to convince them otherwise, there are various things to look at when Griffin has been on the field.


Teammates Around Him

When you look at the players surrounding Luck, there's a major difference compared to Griffin.

Luck stepped into a better situation than Griffin. He already had a player like Reggie Wayne at his disposal, while Griffin's best weapon was Pierre Garcon, who played second-fiddle to Wayne in Indianapolis.

Nothing against Garcon, because he's had a good year in Washington, but any quarterback would rather have Wayne.

The Colts had multiple good players on both sides of the ball, despite the 2-14 record last year. The Redskins didn't have much to look at.

One thing both players showed (just as Tim Tebow did with the Denver Broncos), a quarterback who is used to winning can turn both sides of the ball around.


The Record

The Redskins struggled, going 3-6 in the first nine games of the year, but they have pulled off five straight wins. The wins came against the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants and Baltimore Ravens, among others.

In all three of those, Griffin played a huge role in the victory, although Kirk Cousins threw the game-tying touchdown pass against the Ravens.

Luck, on the other hand, has two big wins against the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings, which both came at the beginning of the season.

Outside of that, you have a thrashing at the hands of the New England Patriots and a loss to the Houston Texans on Sunday.


The Stats

Luck does have better stats compared to Griffin. He's thrown for 3,978 yards and 20 touchdowns. But, he's also thrown 18 interceptions.

The Colts quarterback had six 300-yard games this year, including games against the Packers and the Patriots. However, he's also had six games below 240 yards passing.

Griffin has gotten it done both through the air and on the ground. He's amassed 2,902 yards and 18 touchdowns through the air, while only throwing four interceptions. He's also rushed for 748 yards and six touchdowns.

The Washington quarterback hasn't had the 300-yard games like Luck has, but he is averaging 281 yards of offense per game.

Plus, he's taking care of the ball, which goes a long way in winning games.



While it may not be clear to others, Griffin has shown more than Luck this season.

Sure, Luck has the feel-good Colts' story on his side. But when it comes down to it, who has been the best rookie in the NFL this year?

The answer is Robert Griffin III.