Grading Rookie Quarterbacks from Wild Card Weekend
This year's Wild Card Weekend was a historic one that featured three rookie starting quarterbacks leading their team into the postseason.
Only one of those starting quarterbacks would wind up moving on to the divisional round (which was guaranteed since one game featured a matchup of two rookie quarterbacks), but each of the three had a performance that hinted at a bright future, although in the case of Robert Griffin III, he did have some scary injury moments.
We will be looking at the four rookie quarterbacks that played during Wild Card Weekend (including Kirk Cousins, who came on in relief of Robert Griffin III), and grading their performance.
Andrew Luck: B
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How does Andrew Luck, whose team lost 24-9 and failed to score a touchdown, get a B for his performance?
He was the only Indianapolis Colt who delivered.
His offensive line let him down this afternoon, allowing him to get sacked three times while being under constant pressure throughout the game. They were also partially responsible for his interception in the fourth quarter due to said pressure.
While his stats weren't prolific (and we will get to that in a minute), he was forced to throw the ball 54 times, completing 28 of those passes for 288 yards.
Luck's receivers also let him down, by not only failing to get open throughout the afternoon, but also by dropping well-thrown passes.
It was a disaster for the Colts' offense, but despite that, Luck's numbers weren't that bad. He still was able to produce just about everything but a touchdown and a win for Indianapolis.
Luck would prove that with some help along the offensive line and more consistent receivers to go alongside Reggie Wayne and the hobbled T.Y. Hilton, he will be a threat in the postseason for years to come.
Robert Griffin III: C+
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This grade feels unfair even to me due to the fact that RGIII was hobbled throughout the game by the knee injury suffered weeks ago against Baltimore and probably should've been taken out during the second quarter.
Despite that, RGIII got off to a great start in Washington's first two drives of the game, scoring 14 points while completing six out of seven passes for 68 yards and rushing for 12 yards.
After that, it went downhill, as RGIII finished the game completing only four of his last 11 passes for 16 yards and an interception while running for nine yards and a fumble as the Redskins offense sputtered to a virtual standstill against an aggressive Seattle defense.
The fumble would be Griffin's last play of the season, as his knee buckled under him on the play and looked pretty bad. The hope is that it isn't too serious and he will be ready for next season, as this season he provided a glimmer of optimism for the Redskins and their fans in the coming years.
Kirk Cousins: C-
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This grade also seems a bit unfair considering that Cousins' didn't enter the game until Washington was already down by 10 and probably should've been inserted earlier.
To make matters worse, despite the fact that Cousins was already warming up to play in the second quarter, he still looked cold and rusty when he was inserted into the game.
Considering that when it first looked like the Griffin was hurt in the second quarter, it would've been a better idea for Cousins to come into the game at that time. Washington was up 14-13 and wouldn't relinquish the lead until halfway through the fourth quarter.
Instead he came in facing a 10-point deficit, and it showed. Seattle was more aggressive and only allowed Cousins to complete three out of his 10 passes for 31 yards.
Russell Wilson: A-
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It didn't start the way that Russell Wilson and the Seahawks wanted it to start, but it sure ended properly for them as they will be on their way to Atlanta.
Of course Wilson didn't do it alone. He had help from Marshawn Lynch (who continues to prove that he is a big-time performer) and from Seattle's stifling defense, which held the Redskins down for the final three quarters of the game and was instrumental in Seattle scoring 24 unanswered points for the victory.
But Wilson was efficient and did more than just run and pass the football. Quite a few times he was out in front with key blocks, including on Lynch's 27-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter that gave Seattle the lead.
Wilson ended up completing 15-of-26 passes for 187 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions. He was also sacked five times but bounced back well throughout the contest and ran for 67 yards.
Seattle won this game as a team, there's no doubt about that, but Wilson's leadership throughout the game helped settle the team down after a 14-point first quarter deficit.