Robert Griffin III: Making the Case for Redskins QB in Rookie of the Year Race

Rick Weiner@RickWeinerNYFeatured ColumnistDecember 30, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 23: Robert Griffin III #10 of the Washington Redskins in action against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on December 23, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

The race for the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year award isn't really a race at all, as Washington's Robert Griffin III has broken away from the rest of the pack.

Forget the whole "rookie" label for a second. Can you name a more consistent quarterback in the NFL than RGIII?

Those quarterbacks are few and far between, and we can name them on one hand: Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers.

Then comes Griffin.

As for his rookie counterpart in Indianapolis, Andrew Luck, the numbers really aren't close:

  Comp. Att. Comp. Percentage Passing Yards TD INT QB Rating
RGIII 249 375 66.4 3,100 20 5 104.1
Luck 325 599 54.3 4,183 21 18 75.6

While Luck has been asked to throw the ball far more than RGIII has, that's no fault of Griffin's. He has done everything that Washington has asked of him.

Of the quarterbacks in the NFL who have been starting under center since the season began, RGIII has thrown fewer interceptions than anyone else. He's second in quarterback rating and fifth in completion percentage.

But that's only scratching the surface of how impressive his numbers truly are.

Neither of the dual-threat quarterbacks that Griffin was compared to coming into the season—Philadelphia's Michael Vick and Carolina's Cam Newton—have done what Griffin has accomplished with his legs in 2012 (via Twitter):

. @redskins QB @rgiii has 752 rush yards this season, most by a rookie QB in NFL history.

— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) December 28, 2012


Not impressed?

Consider this, courtesy of Michael Smith, host of ESPN's Numbers Never Lie (via Twitter):

RGIII: 2d player w/ 3K pass yds and 750 rush yds in a season, joining Randall Cunningham in 1990. That Randall was a bad boy back in the day

— Michael Smith (@michaelsmith) December 27, 2012


I personally don't put much stock into the Pro Bowl, but if you're looking for yet another reason why Griffin is head and shoulders above the rest of the pack this season, former NFL linebacker LaVar Arrington makes a pretty good point (via Twitter): 

RGIII the only rookie pro bowler I believe so that logically means he's the rookie of the year right?

— LaVar Leap Arrington (@LaVarArrington) December 27, 2012


It's hard to argue with that kind of logic.

RGIII has stepped into a tenuous situation in Washington and bought stability and leadership to a team that was sorely lacking in both areas from the most important position on the field.

He's made a believer out of Redskins veteran wide receiver Santana Moss (h/t Washington Post):

Everybody gets in line behind him and says, ‘Take us to the promised land.' I know it sounds funny saying that, but he shows what it takes every day to get to where he’s trying to get by how he prepares. It shows up on the field on Sundays. 

Griffin's Redskins enter Week 17 with a shot at accomplishing something that hasn't been done in our nation's capital in over a decade: winning the NFC East.

Luck can't point to a division title in his first year.

Whether it's the stats that he has put up, the fact that he can extend plays—and create positive yardage out of broken plays—or the fact that he has the Redskins in the thick of a division race, Robert Griffin III has done it all.

He deserves to be recognized and applauded for those efforts.