The first week of the 2012 NFL season was filled with some expected occurrences and also a number of surprises. Making matters even more intriguing were the four rookie quarterbacks starting in Week 1, all trying to lead their teams to victory. Let’s see just how they did on Sunday in their first NFL games.
Two of the four first round quarterbacks went first and second overall in Andrew Luck to the Indianapolis Colts and Robert Griffin III to the Washington Redskins. The Miami Dolphins took Ryan Tannehill number eight overall and Brandon Weeden went 22nd to the Cleveland Brown
Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts
Luck started out on the road against the Chicago Bears, but ended up with a 41-21 loss and a rough day. While Luck did end up with 309 yards on 23 of 45 yards passing, he also threw three interceptions as opposed only one touchdown.
Take into account the fact that Luck was sacked three times and racked up a lowly 52.9 quarterback rating, and it’s clear it was just an overall rough first day on the job. Luck’s favorite target is one that his Colts’ predecessor – Peyton Manning – used to love as well, and that was Reggie Wayne. The veteran wide receiver caught nine of Luck’s passes for 135 yards.
Robert Griffin III––Washington Redskins
Faring much better on Sunday was Griffin III who led the Redskins to a 40-32 upset of the New Orleans Saints in the Superdome. The second overall pick in the draft started out quick and threw an 88-yard touchdown pass, the first of his career, to Pierre Garcon in the first quarter.
From that point on, Griffin III kept on going and threw for 320 yards on 19 of 26 passing with two touchdowns. Not too shabby for his first day on the job and facing off with Drew Brees.
Ryan Tannehill––Miami Dolphins
Dolphins’ quarterback Ryan Tannehill stepped into the fire, also on the road, to face the Houston Texans and recorded a 30-10 loss. Much like Luck, Tannehill had a horrible first outing as an NFL leader.
For the day, Tannehill completed 20 of 36 passes for only 219 yards and ended up throwing three interceptions as well. Adding insult to injury, he was also sacked three times and had an abysmal 39.0 quarterback rating.
Brandon Weeden––Cleveland Browns
Finally, there is Brandon Weeden who started for the Cleveland Browns and lost a heart-breaker to the Philadelphia Eagles 17-16.
Weeden ended up as the winner (loser?) in the quarterback rating as he recorded a horribly low 5.1. That is due in part to throwing four interceptions and getting sacked two times while only completing 12 passes for 118 yards.
At the end of the first week, only one of the four first-round rookie quarterbacks started a game at home and that was Weeden, who performed the worst.
Performing the best was Griffin III, who not only led his team to a big victory in New Orleans, but played very well for his first ever NFL game. Many expected more than the 42 yards rushing that he accumulated, but he didn’t need to run as much thanks to succeeding with his arm.
It will be interesting to see if these young quarterbacks progress or regress as the season goes on. All four teams better hope that they move forward and succeed though, because there is a lot of time and money invested in all of them. Not to mention that none of the four teams really have the most viable back-up to step in and take over as the starter.
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Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. His work can be found on Examiner.com.