NFL Rookie of the Year 2012: Analyzing Each Contender's Brightest Moment

Patrick Clarke@@_Pat_ClarkeCorrespondent IDecember 30, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 18: Quarterback Robert Griffin III #10 of the Washington Redskins rushes the  ball in front of defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins #97 of the Philadelphia Eagles during the first half at FedEx Field on November 18, 2012 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Spoiler alert: The 2012 NFL Rookie of the Year Award will come down to three stellar field generals this season.

From the Pacific Northwest to the Midwest and all the way to the East Coast, NFL fans have been treated to some superb rookie quarterback play this season, and thus it only makes sense that the coveted award will find its way into the hands of a sensational first-year passer in 2012.

Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson have all surpassed expectations this season and could all be playing for a Super Bowl title this January (if RG3's Washington Redskins win Sunday).

With bright futures ahead for all three signal-callers, let's analyze each contender's brightest moment heading into Week 17.


Russell Wilson

Brightest Moment: Week 13 at Chicago Bears

Russell Wilson proved to be one of the league's most clutch competitors in a pivotal road game at Chicago in Week 13, leading the Seahawks on two late-game drives to first take the lead, and then win it in overtime.

Wilson led a 12-play, 97-yard touchdown drive to put Seattle up 17-14 with under 30 seconds to play. Chicago would tie it up with a late field goal. But on the first drive of overtime Wilson would step up again, leading Seattle on a 12-play, 80-yard scoring drive, capping it off with a 13-yard touchdown pass to Sidney Rice for the win.

He would finish the game having completed 23-of-37 for 293 yards and two touchdowns. He also had 71 rushing yards on nine carries.


Andrew Luck

Brightest Moment: Week 16 at Kansas City Chiefs

Andrew Luck accomplished two mighty feats in Week 16 at Arrowhead Stadium. 

In addition to leading his team to a victory over the Chiefs and securing a 10-win season and an AFC Wild Card berth, Luck broke the single-season rookie passing yards record, throwing for 205 yards in the 20-13 road victory.

Luck joined Cam Newton as the only two rookies to pass for at least 4,000 yards in their rookie seasons, and now boasts 4,183 passing yards and counting with one game left to play in Week 17.


Robert Griffin III

Brightest Moment: Week 11 vs. Philadelphia Eagles

RG3 played one of the greatest games ever by a quarterback in Week 11, not just a rookie. He completed 14-of-15 passes for 200 yards and four touchdowns, finishing the day with a perfect 158.3 passer rating. Griffin is one of only two players now to have accomplished that feat in his rookie season, joining Drew Bledsoe.

Griffin also rushed for 84 yards on 12 carries. But more important than RG3's numbers was the result. Washington ran over Philly, winning 31-6 to ignite a six-game winning streak that currently has the Redskins in position to win the NFC East for the first time since 1999.


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