NFL Week 1 Picks: How Each Rookie QB's Team Will Fare in His Debut

Ryan DavenportContributor ISeptember 5, 2012

LANDOVER, MD - AUGUST 25:  Robert Griffin III #10 of the Washington Redskins is introduced before a preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts at FedExField on August 25, 2012 in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Before any of its players have even taken a snap, the NFL's 2012 rookie class has already set a record that will be very difficult to beat.

For the first time in NFL history, five teams will head into Week 1 of the season with rookie starting quarterbacks. 

Since April's NFL draft, it was all but assumed that Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III would be starting behind center for their respective teams, but no one could've guessed that fellow draftees Ryan Tannehill, Brandon Weeden and Russell Wilson would all be joining them as No. 1 quarterbacks before the season had even begun.

Now, with this unprecedented amount of first-year QBs set to begin their NFL careers on Week 1, it's showtime for the fresh-faced gunslingers.

Here's a look at how each of the rookie starting quarterbacks and their teams will fare in Week 1. 

Indianapolis at Chicago

The Colts are hoping that the team's decision to replace a four-time league MVP with Luck, the No. 1 overall selection of the 2012 NFL draft, pays off in the long term, which is a good thing because it could be a long season for Luck and the Colts. 

With Jay Cutler healthy and reunited with Brandon Marshall, the Bears should roll in this one, even if Luck throws his first of what will be many touchdowns in a Colts uniform.

Winner: Chicago

Philadelphia at Cleveland

Though he'll be happy to start his career at home, Brandon Weeden can't be too excited about playing a hungry Philadelphia Eagles team in Week 1. 

The Eagles, who were the league's most disappointing team a year ago, will be eager to erase last season's shortcomings, and that begins in Cleveland on Sunday.

The 29-year-old Weeden probably won't put up the numbers he'd like to in his debut, but that's to be expected against a very strong, veteran-laden team like the Eagles.

Winner: Philadelphia

Washington at New Orleans

Though Luck and Weeden both have solid Week 1 opponents, RG3 would likely be open to trading with either one of them, as drawing a perennial contender like the Saints on the road is about as tough as it gets.

Fortunately for the Skins' prized rookie play-caller, he has a stronger receiving corps than any of the other rookie QBs, but that may not make a difference against the Saints, even without Sean Payton wearing the headset.

If RG3 can pull a victory out here, it'll be a monumental achievement in what projects to be a long career for the dual-threat rookie.

Winner: New Orleans

Miami at Houston

The NFL's scheduling gurus clearly didn't take pity on this year's rookie QB class, as Ryan Tannehill finds himself up against the Texans, who went 10-6 en route to the AFC South crown a year ago.

Not only is Tannehill up against a team that will pile up points in a hurry, but the Texans defense also finished in the top five in terms of least points allowed a year ago, which means he may have the ugliest statistics of the five rookies by Sunday night.

Winner: Houston

Seattle at Arizona

Without a doubt the most unheralded of the five rookie quarterbacks, Russell Wilson may also be the only one to emerge victorious on Sunday.

After beating out Matt Flynn for the starting job in Seattle, Wilson was lucky to land Arizona in Week 1. The Cardinals, who just settled their own QB controversy by naming John Skelton as the starter, may well be the first of many teams to fall to the Seahawks with Wilson behind center.

Wilson, who was spectacular during the preseason, will continue to impress in Week 1 and will come out of Arizona with a win.

Winner: Seattle


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