So after Week 13, where we saw 3 rookie QBs stage late 4th quarter victories for their sides, it certainly does seem that this year is well and truly the year of the rookie quarterback. The rookies have taken the league by storm this year, turning their sides fortunes around almost immediately, and have taken 3 of them to the brink of the play-offs. Of the 5 rookie QBs, not forgetting Tannehill & Weeden who have also started promising in the NFL, Wilson, RG3 and Luck are the ones that have stood out.
On Sunday night we saw Russell Wilson with a game winning drive for the Seahawks away to the Chicago Bears, in a game many people had tipped for the Bears. Wilson threw a touchdown in overtime to Sidney Rice which showed how far this Seahawks team has come this year. In 12 games so far this season, Wilson has led the Seahawks to a 7-5 record, whilst also posting up impressive numbers. 19 touchdowns for 8 interceptions, total yards thrown of 2,344 which gives a QB rating of 95.2. This is a team that’s so strong at home with it’s defence (although their undefeated record shouldn’t really stand after the replacement refs fiasco), but now it seems as if Pete Carroll has got this side playing on the road too.
The fact that 3 of their last 4 games are at home, is huge for the Seahawks. They play 3 sides with losing records, the Cardinals, Bills & the Rams, with the Bills being away, whilst also hosting the 49ers in the penultimate game, which could well decide the NFC West. With only the Buccaneers, and either the Bears or Packers to really contend with for a wildcard spot, this is a team which will be delighted to be in the play-offs. It may well just be a case of one game and out, with the teams strengths lying at home, but even so this would be a great achievement for a team with a QB who many deemed to be too small for the NFL.
We also saw on sunday night quite a performance from Andrew Luck which will have impressed the whole of the NFL. Ok, you look at his numbers from the night and it isn’t that impressive, with 24 of 54 passes completed, with 3 picks, but you also have 391 yards thrown and 4 passing touchdowns, one of which was a final play throw to win it for the Colts.
Andrew Luck has galvanised this team this year, forming a lethal partnership with veteran Reggie Wayne, and also been a part of an inspiring team which is playing for their sick coach in Chuck Pagano. Luck’s numbers at 17 touchdowns, 16 interceptions and 3,596 yards with a QB rating of 76.1 aren’t as impressive as many would think, but he’s led his side to a lot of late victories already in his short NFL career.
The guy was given the task of replacing the great Peyton Manning in Indianapolis has stepped up big already. As the QB of this franchise for the next 10+ years, nobody was expecting Luck to get this team to 8-4 this season, especially after going 2-14 last year. It truly has been the story of the NFL season, and Luck has a very valid case for league MVP.
The Colts’ remaining schedule includes the Titans & the Chiefs, as well as playing the Texans twice. Playing the Texans at home on the last game could be crucial, with the Texans maybe looking to rest players having almost certainly already qualified as a first seed. As with the Seahawks, it may well be a case of 1 game and out for the Colts, who’ll be competing for a wildcard spot with the Steelers and the Bengals, but it would be a big step for the Colts. As it stands in the play-offs, the Colts would face the Denver Broncos. The Peyton Manning led Broncos. Is life that kind?
Finally we have RG3 and the Washington Redskins. The Hesiman trophy winner was the first rookie QB to beat a Super Bowl winning side, and many will say it was overdue after the narrow way they lost away to the Giants also. But the way RG3 has performed, in particular the last 2 games, has been so impressive. He’s led the side to a 6-6 record, which is shared with the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC East, and just one game away from the 7-5 NY Giants.
Many have compared RG3 to Cam Newton last season, the way he’s burst onto the scene, with his ability to not only use his legs, but also having a big arm. Posting figures so far this season of 17 passing touchdowns and just 4 interceptions for 2,660 yards with a QB rating of 104.4, this is a guy who is the real deal. The debate over whether to pick RG3 or Luck first in the draft was discussed for months in the summer, with people taking sides in one camp or another. But there can be no doubt that RG3 is a star, who has the capabilities with the young side that’s being built around him, to be a success in Washington.
To add to the passing touchdowns, he’s also added 6 rushing touchdowns, whilst also only losing the ball twice from 10 fumbles. The Redskins have a legitimate chance of winning the NFC East, especially with their schedule and the way the Giants seem to be stuttering their way to the end of the season. The Redskins host the Ravens, before going to the Browns and the Eagles, both who have nothing to play for. They finish off their season with the Cowboys at home, which could very much be a division decider, with the Giants having the toughest fixture list of the three. With the way RG3 and the Redskins are playing, 3 wins isn’t out of the question, whilst 4 isn’t impossible either. While it may just come to the fact that the Redskins may fall just short, like with Wilson & Luck, these 3 QBs have a bright future in the NFL, and has most certainly made the league even more exciting for everyone.