Rookie QBs Look a Lot Better in Week Two

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bill-swift - September 18, 2012

Robert Griffin III was the only one of the Fab Five rookie quarterbacks that looked like he was ready for the bright lights and big stage of the NFL in Week One. The only good thing that Ryan Tannehill, Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson, and BrandonWeeden could say about their first week is that they can only do better.

After Week Two, the other four have to be feeling a little better about themselves while it RG3 came back down to Earth a little (just a little).

Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts: The No. 1 pick in the '12 Draft showed that he can learn from his mistakes with a solid performance against the Minnesota Vikings in a 23-20 victory in the Colt's home opener (20-31, 224 yards, 2 TDs). Luck really looked impressive when he led the team on a TD drive late in the first half, and did a great job of keeping the team focused.

After the Vikings tied the game up at 20-20 late in the fourth it would not have been shocking for the Colts to run out the clock and just go to overtime (31 seconds left), but instead Chuck Pagano gave his star QB a test and let him see if he could pull off a miracle. It took Luck 23 seconds to get the team in position for a game winning kick.

Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins: Last week's breakout player had a pretty good game, but a slew of errors by the team combined with a solid game by Rams QB Sam Bradford and wide receiver Danny Amendola gave RG3 his first loss as a starter (28-31). He looked much like the guy fans saw in college by getting the job done in the air and on the ground (20-29, 206 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT; 11 carries, 82 yards, 2 TDs), but it wasn't enough to overcome all the mistakes the Redskins made.

Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins: Houston made Tannehill look really bad last week by exploiting any and every mistake he made. It was a much different game against the Raiders in Week Two. Offensive Coordinator Mike Sherman didn't push his QB too hard allowing him to be an efficient game manager and it worked. Tannehill was 18-30 on the day for 200 yards with his first touchdown via the air and on the ground. What was most important for Tannehill--no interceptions.

The icing on the cake; the Dolphins won 35-13 over Oakland.

Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks: The third round pick was the surprise of the preseason by playing so well that head coach Pete Carroll could not help but start him. Then he comes out in Week One and looks terrible. It wasn't expected to get any better for him with the Dallas Cowboys coming to town.

The team leaned on running back Marshawn Lynch to help Wilson out and it worked. Lynch took a lot of pressure off of Wilson by pounding the Cowboys for 122 yards on 26 carries allowing the team to be conservative in the passing game (15-20, 151 yards, 1 TD; 4 carries, 28 yards). It worked well enough since the team was able to win 27-7.

Brandon Weeden, Cleveland Browns: After a QB rating of 5.1 last week the Browns signal caller is the one guy that literally could not help but do better this week. Bounce back he did. Weeden kept the Browns in the game against a tough Bengals team by completing 26 of 37 passes for 322 yards and two TDs with no interceptions. It certainly helped that the Browns other star rookie, running back Trent Richardson, had 109 yards and one TD on 19 carries.

Incidentally, Weeden went from the lowest QB rating last week among the Fab Five to the highest this week with 114.9.

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