It was the first week of the 2012 NFL season, and there was plenty to be excited about. There were great match-ups across the board, to go along with many fascinating story lines. We got to witness Peyton Manning’s debut as the Broncos quarterback, Cowboys and Giants (after lots of trash talking), Mark Sanchez’s season opener with the dramatic filled Jets, and five rookie quarterbacks making a start opening day for the first time ever.
If those things don’t excite you, then maybe you’re not truly a fan of the NFL, or even football for that matter.
The rookie quarterbacks were all highly anticipated, but only one of the five actually won their first game. Not the first overall pick in Andrew Luck, who faced a very talented Chicago Bears team, not Russell Wilson, not Ryan Tannehill, and certainly not Brandon Weeden who had a total QBR of 1.2, worst for a rookie QB in their debut since 2008.
But, it was Robert Griffin III. RGIII may have had the toughest task at hand, having to face Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints, in the superdome, where they finished last season 9-0 including one playoff game versus the Lions.
RGIII completed 19/26 for 320 yards and 2 touchdowns. Most importantly and most impressively he also had 0 interceptions, something rookie quarterbacks usually don’t accomplish in their first outing. Actually, he was the first rookie quarterback to throw for over 300 yards, 2 or more touchdowns, and no interceptions in his debut. He made it look as if this is something he has been doing for years now. RGIII showed patience to stand in the pocket and deliver, poise in late game situations, and seemed to have this whole “NFL” thing figured out.
RGIII lived up to what people have expected from him this season and then some. It was just one game, but the Redskins should be very excited about their future for the next decade. The endorsements and the hype surrounding RGIII this summer may have seemed a bit much, however he showed the world that pressure isn’t an issue. The pressure didn’t stand a chance busting his pipes.
How the other rookie QBs faired, who all lost in their first game:
Andrew Luck (Indianapolis Colts): 23-45, 309 yds, 1 td, 3 int, qbr 39.2
Russell Wilson (Seattle Seahawks): 18-34, 153 yards, 1 td, 1 int, qbr 27.6
Ryan Tannehill (Miami Dolphins): 20-36, 219 yards, 0 td, 3 int, qbr 3.1
Brandon Weeden (Cleveland Browns): 12-35, 118 yards, 0 td, 4 int, qbr 1.2
All rookie quarterbacks go through learning experiences early on in their career before they eventually start to play up to their potential, and this week was only one game worth of evidence. However, RGIII played lights out, and led the Redskins to a big road win over the Saints. The next challenge for the Redskins QB will be to stay as consistent as possible. Yes, that’s easier said than done, but once again, we can only wait and see.