Why Has Robert Griffin III Fizzled and Andrew Luck Blossomed?

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistNovember 9, 2012

JACKSONVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 8: Quarterback Andrew Luck #12 of the Indianapolis Colts directs play against the Jacksonville Jaguars in an NFL Network Thursday Night Football game November 8, 2012 at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts and Robert Griffin III of the Washington Redskins will forever be compared after going No. 1 and No. 2 in the first round of the 2012 NFL draft respectively, but their careers have already taken a drastically different course. 

Luck has led the Colts to a 6-3 record and has his team on the fast track to the playoffs despite the locker room dealing with a serious emotional battle with head coach Chuck Pagano absent while he battles leukemia. 

Conversely, Griffin has led the Redskins to only a 3-6 record. He started off the season strong but his performance has dropped off in the past few weeks as injuries around him have hurt the overall offensive unit. 

So far Luck has thrown for 2,631 yards, 10 touchdowns and nine interceptions for a 79.0 rating. He's also added five rushing touchdowns on the ground. RG3 has thrown for 1,993 yards, eight touchdowns and three interceptions with a 93.9 rating. Griffin has found the end zone on the ground six times. 

Both have been exceptional in their own right given the circumstances surrounding them both as rookies adapting to a professional level, but Luck has progressed at a steady pace and won games while Griffin has stayed steady but his team isn't winning. 

On paper, the Redskins have the better team around Griffin than Luck has with the Colts. Injuries have seriously hurt Washington, as Griffin's two favorite targets in receiver Pierre Garcon and tight end Fred Davis are lost for the season. 

Griffin has had to rely on the inconsistent hands of receivers such as Josh Morgan and Leonard Hankerson and has still managed to put up exceptional numbers.

Luck has had to be the leader of an emotional locker room dealing with a devastating situation, but he's managed to emerge as a leader and elevate his game as the season has progressed. On the field he's a dual threat just as much as Griffin is, and it has allowed him to blossom.

Also helping Luck is veteran receiver Reggie Wayne, who has single-handedly managed to take much of the pressure off Luck as he catches literally everything thrown his way. Luck also has his college tight end in Coby Fleener and a serious deep threat in rookie receiver T.Y. Hilton. 

Both Griffin and Luck are clearly headed for superstardom and may just be the next Peyton Manning-Tom Brady duo. 

As of now, Luck is winning his team games while RG3 has been unable to lift his injury-plagued team to victory. Luck has worked magic with a mostly talent-depleted roster, but the injuries have been too much for Griffin to overcome at this point. 

Make no mistake, Griffin and Luck are playing exceptional football—but only one is putting the team on his shoulders en route to victory and potentially the postseason.


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