Indianapolis Colts: Three Weeks Later, Luck is Clearly Better than Griffin

By Eric Smith
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

In the 2012 NFL regular season everyone wanted to put Andrew Luck vs. Robert Griffin III as the new rivalry. It was like the media was searching for the next Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning matchup. Unfairly, Griffin was tabbed as the better quarterback last season, stealing all the attention and even winning the Rookie of the Year award.

Luckily for the Indianapolis Colts, faithful Luck doesn’t care about that attention and just wants to win.

Three games into the 2013 regular season, Luck is showing why he’s the better prospect than Griffin. Everyone is seeing that Griffin was put into the limelight too early. They gave him the RG3 nickname and put him on the front of every national media football show.

But, it was Luck who threw for a rookie record 4,374 yards and led the Colts  —with less talent than the Washington Redskins — to an 11-5 record after a 2-14 2011 season. The Redskins didn’t stoop that low in 2011 and used a trade to move up to second to get RG3. They went 10-6 and failed to keep RG3 healthy.

Now, Luck has led the Colts to a 2-1 start while the RG3 led Redskins are still searching for their first victory of the season. Luck looks phenomenal while RG3 looks just average or below average. His inability to pass down the field with accuracy is lacking and defenses have figured out how to defend against him and force him to be a pocket-passer.

Before you dwell on the fact that RG3 was 65.6-percent on passes last year and 65.1-percent this year,  stop. All of his passes are either short dump-off passes or involve hitting slant routes so that his receivers do all the work. Teams didn’t know how to defend him scrambling out of the backfield so they stacked the box on him. Now, they’ve figured it out for this year as RG3 has only rushed for 25 yards and zero touchdowns on nine attempts. Last year he had 815 yards and seven touchdowns on 120 attempts.

It’s not his knee that’s the issue either, but the defenses’ game-plans against him. Even Griffin said this preseason, and again entering the regular season, “he’s 100-percent healthy and ready to go.”  So don’t change the tune now.

They’re keeping him in the pocket and he’s terribly inaccurate — that’s the sole reason he’s not performing. It’s now affecting the Redskins as some are saying maybe they should bench him.

The Colts, on the otherhand, got a quarterback who’s very accurate with his arm and is also just as good at running. He ran for five touchdowns last year and already has two this season. Teams are having a hard time to game plan for him. He beats you with his arm first, and legs second.

It’s the opposite in Washington.

RG3 is a run-first and throw-second quarterback as he’s not accurate. It was there last year but no one wanted to notice. As Indianapolis sits 2-1 and with playoff hopes, and the Redskins 0-3 with another rebuilding season, the stats are now glaring.

Indianapolis is 13-6 under Luck with less talent while the Redskins are 10-9 with Griffin. Mix in the fact Luck’s completion percentage is up 11.1-percent over last year and his interceptions are heading down he’s got upside.

Griffen has already thrown three interceptions when he had five last year, and only has 25 yards and zero touchdowns on the ground compared to Luck’s 76 yards on the ground and two touchdowns on the ground with only once interception. The only reason why Griffin has even decent stats this year is they’ve been so far behind in games  that the opposition has taken pressure off. They didn’t want to allow them to hit a homerun with him so they allowed short pickups, like last year, and let the clock remain ticking even though they knew there wasn’t enough time to come back.

Indianapolis made the right decision. It’s heading towards the 1998 draft all over again except without the meltdown. The Colts had the tough decision of choosing between Manning and Ryan Leaf in ’98. Leaf had a better record in the duo’s first season, but the true talent showed in year two after Leaf turned into a head-case.

It looks like the Colts are destined to a second straight playoff berth and have won 69 percent of the games under Luck, while the Redskins are 52-percent and dropping.


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