Robert Griffin III Deserves Rookie of the Year Award After Awe-Inspiring Season

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistFebruary 1, 2013

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 23: Robert Griffin III #10 of the Washington Redskins celebrates after a Washington Redskins first down in the fourth quarter 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

Although the race for Offensive Rookie of the Year features five worthy contenders—Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson, Doug Martin and Alfred Morris—Robert Griffin III should take home the award. The Washington Redskins quarterback had a season filled with highlight-reel plays and key victories.

The other hopefuls all deserve credit for their own tremendous seasons. Andrew Luck lived up to the top-pick hype. Russell Wilson helped turned the Seattle Seahawks into title contenders. Doug Martin and Alfred Morris both had big seasons on the ground.

But none of those players were able to keep pace with the dynamic Griffin. Last season, the Redskins had one of the worst quarterback situations in the league with Rex Grossman and John Beck. Griffin changed that in the blink of an eye.

That's also about how long it took for the Redskins to figure out they had a special player on their hands. The Baylor product passed for 320 yards and ran for 42 more in his first career regular-season game.

He added two touchdowns in a win over the New Orleans Saints and never looked back.

Griffin's final numbers are off the charts for a rookie. He completed 66 percent of his passes for 3,200 yards and 20 touchdowns, helping him post the NFL's third-best QB rating. He also rushed for 815 yards and seven touchdowns.

Perhaps the most amazing aspect of his season was his advanced decision-making skills. He turned the ball over just seven times. For comparison's sake, Luck finished with 23 in the pass-happy Indianapolis Colts offense and Wilson had 13.

Given the situation each of those fellow rookie field generals were in, those aren't bad numbers for a player adapting to NFL defenses. It just shows how good Griffin was.

His ability to make the right reads was crucial to Washington's success. The Redskins needed every single one of them down the stretch as they rattled off seven-straight wins after their bye week to win the NFC East.

Without Griffin, that's not possible. He was one of the biggest offensive weapons in the entire league this season and he should get rewarded for it.

There will be plenty of time during the offseason to discuss what he must do to remain healthy over the long haul after hurting his knee. He did take a lot of shots. As for now, it's time to celebrate what he accomplished in his first season.

Naming him Rookie of the Year would be the best way to do it. He earned it.