When you are the No. 1 and No. 2 picks in the draft, your every move on the football field is bound to garner a little attention. When you are Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, two of the best quarterbacks to come out of college in years, and caused many debates on who should be the No. 1 pick the words ‘a little’ are replaced with ‘an overwhelming ton.’
That is the only reason why the preseason game between the Washington Redskins and Indianapolis Colts got the attention that it did; the Redskins even sold t-shirts to commemorate the ‘QB Showdown.’ While the hype is definitely a bit much for a preseason contest regardless of who is playing, in the end fans got exactly what they should have expected in a preseason game–hope for the future.
Both players made mistakes as rookie players are going to do, but overall both looked pretty good. Luck continued to be as sharp as advertised completing 61 percent of his throws (14-23) for 151 yards and a touchdown. RG3′s numbers were less impressive, 11-17 for 74 yards and a touchdown, but his accuracy was pinpoint on many of the short to mid-range passes when he had the time and he was able to lead the Redskins on two touchdown drives before exiting the game.
Time, or the lack there of, ended up being the key for both players Saturday much like it has been during the rest of the preseason. Both QBs were under a tremendous amount of pressure throughout the game. The Colts defense came away without a sack, but harassed Griffin all game long. Griffin’s athleticism was not able to save him every time though like when Colts linebacker Jerrell Freeman came through the line unblocked and give Griffin a proper welcome to the NFL.
Luck’s luck wasn’t any better. He was sacked twice on one drive and had to get rid of the ball fast nearly every time he threw. Were he not able to step up and make quick decisions–much like a former Indianapolis quarterback now in Denver– that number could have been a lot higher (his backup, Chandler Harnish, was sacked twice).
The offensive line issues were a lot more apparent for Washington last week when they faced the Bears. Chicago kept Griffin running, but were much better at getting to him then the Colts sacking him three times and forcing him to get rid of the ball quick (he was 5-8 for just 49 yards).
For the Colts, much like Peyton Manning, Luck’s poise and instincts have helped make the line look better than they are. The issues become a lot harder to hide when you look at the running game though. Against the Redskins all the running backs combined for just 53 yards.
Both players showed the poise that is necessary to play in the NFL. Their talent was evident as well, but if either are ever going to be more than just a footnote in their respective team’s histories Dan Snyder and Jim Irsay need to find some offensive linemen that are a little less offensive.