Last week, I got more than a few annoying tweets from Colts fans and media analysts alike telling me Robert Griffin III was better than Andrew Luck. Keep in mind, Luck didn't even play last week, and RG3 had just completed a comeback win against the friggin Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a team that allowed the New York Giants to score 25 fourth quarter points two weeks prior.
The tweets weren't a by-product of people thoroughly evaluating both players after four-or-so games and coming to the conclusion that the Indianapolis Colts had, somehow, made a mistake in drafting Luck over Griffin.
It was people trolling and being stupidly over-reactionary. Twitter does this.
The Big Lead's Jason Lisk offered one of the more intelligent quarter pole evaluations of Luck and Griffin in a column posted earlier today:
Opponents matter. Let’s say it again. Opponents matter. It’s bad enough that quarterback stats reflect a lot of other things including how good your teammates are, but in the short term, who you play makes a big deal.
So when Robert Griffin III lit up the Saints and Andrew Luck struggled against the Bears, there was instant proclamation that Griffin was better. As we look back, and see how other quarterbacks have performed against those two teams, it comes into focus. Luck played pretty well (compare what Rodgers and Romo did, and then how Bradford and Gabbert were destroyed), while everyone has enjoyed success against the Saints.
The same is true this week, where Griffin played his toughest opponent vs. the pass, and he was having his worst game before being knocked out in the second half. Hopefully, he’ll come back soon, and he will have better days as well.
Durability was one of the primary concerns regarding Griffin when he was being considered as a top pick out of Baylor. He's only 6'2, 220 lbs, and he'd already sustained one concussion in college his senior year. Now, he's got two concussions in one year. As a supposed "franchise quarterback," that's not sustainable for the long-term future of the Redskins organization. Franchise QBs must always play, and young quarterbacks with concussion histories are shaky prospects.
This is why DC had to burn a pick on Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins, who subbed for Griffin in Washington's 24-17 loss to the Falcons Sunday.
However, this isn't meant to bash Griffin. I think he's an excellent talent and has shown tremendous ability to understand and perform well in the pro game. I do find his fans utterly insufferable.
For Andrew Luck, the No. 1 overall pick in 2012 has three fourth quarter comeback drives in three straight games. Had it not been for Greg Manusky's defense choking away a one point lead with 45 seconds left against the Jaguars in Week Three, Luck and the Colts are 3-1, right behind the Texans in the AFC South.
Also, keep in mind that Luck passed for 362 yards and three scores (two passing, one rushing) against the Packers Sunday. Luck is the first rookie in NFL history to pass for 1,200-plus yards (1,208 to be precise) and record at least two wins in his team’s first four games. Luck and Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton are the only players in NFL history to pass for at least 300 yards in three of their first four games. Luck is also the first rookie to overcome an 18-plus point deficit to win a game since Matthew Stafford did it back in 2009 against the Cleveland Browns.
I put more weight on the Luck comeback because 1) I'm a homer, and 2) Luck did it against the Packers, a team that is actually good and not based in Cleveland or coached by Eric Mangini (who was the Browns coach in 2009, and who sucks).
Kind of amazing. Oh, by the way, Robert Griffin III was awarded Offensive Rookie of the Month in September. Just throwing that out there.
Something else I'll throw out there: Luck is better than Griffin at the NFL level. That doesn't mean Griffin sucks. If you are the type of person who cannot comprehend a world where both the No. 1 and No. 2 picks can succeed in the NFL, seek medical help. Both men should have great careers.
However, right now, Luck is better. He'd accomplished more while having to cope with more adversity than Griffin. Maybe that changes over time. I don't think it will. Luck is for real, and it's time he get the attention and respect he has earned.