NFL Rookie of the Year 2013: RGIII's Win Shows Upside of Fearless Playing Style

Matt FitzgeraldCorrespondent IIIFebruary 3, 2013

LANDOVER, MD - JANUARY 06:  Robert Griffin III #10 of the Washington Redskins drops back to pass against the Seattle Seahawks during the NFC Wild Card Playoff Game at FedExField on January 6, 2013 in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III deservedly won the NFL Rookie of the Year award for 2012-13 on Saturday night in New Orleans.

It was a nice way to cap off an electric season for RGIII, especially since it ended in injury and disappointment. But it also reflects the benefit of Griffin's attacking, fearless style that netted him the hardware.

The very style that has drawn so much criticism is why Griffin got 29 of the AP votes, compared to 11 for Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck and 10 votes for fellow dual-threat dynamo Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks.

All three were very deserving indeed of winning the award, yet there is little question as to who wooed football fans and opponents more than RGIII.

In fact, ESPN's Adam Schefter tweeted an interesting piece of news on Sunday about just how big of a draw Griffin is for pro football:

Drawing the biggest crowd shouldn't automatically translate to Griffin winning the Rookie of the Year award. However, in this instance, the two go hand in hand.

For as aggressive as Griffin is and as frequently as he throws it deep, he is remarkably good at avoiding interceptions. Part of what sets up that deep ball is his unparalleled ability to run, but credit should be given where it's due.

In the regular season, RGIII threw for 3,200 yards, 20 touchdowns and just five interceptions. He hit  65.6 percent of his 393 passes for a 102.4 passer rating and his five picks were the fewest of all full-time starters in the league, and his yards per pass attempt of 8.14 were also tops amongst his NFL peers.

Griffin also ran for 815 yards on 6.8 yards per carry and seven more touchdowns, cementing his status as a truly one-of-a-kind quarterback.

This Redskins franchise had so much instability at the quarterback position prior to 2012. GM Bruce Allen essentially bet the house on Griffin succeeding when he traded a massive bundle of picks to select him with the No. 2 overall pick in the draft.

Clearly, the investment paid off, as evidenced by the team's first division title since 1999. That run was keyed by a seven-game winning streak to end the regular season that locked up a wild-card playoff home game.

Debate will not die down about RGIII, though. What makes him so special is also what makes him a somewhat long-term liability. According to, it isn't clear as to when he will return for next season due to inconclusive MRI results concerning his ailing knee.

But we will all be eagerly anticipating the triumphant return of RGIII. And we will be once again glued to our televisions when he eventually does take the field.