What a great NFL Sunday, wasn’t it? There is so much to touch on, but how about my picks from this weekend? Not so good, thus far. I picked New York on Wednesday night, so my current “pick ‘em” record sits at 8-6 this week, but I’m okay with that. How many people thought the Niners would go into Green Bay and get a big victory? I wasn’t on board that train, but a great win by the Niners nonetheless.
When you talk about rookies, this weekend was probably as big a weekend as any the NFL has seen. Five rookie starting quarterbacks took the field on Sunday for their respective teams, a record and something this league has never seen before. The clear-cut week one winner for top rookie was Washington’s Robert Griffin III, who went into a hostile environment in New Orleans, and came out with not only a victory, but one of the highest quarterback ratings among quarterbacks in the league at 139.9.
Griffin looked poised, calm, and showed those playmaking skills he displayed in his Heisman Trophy campaign last year at Baylor. He completed 19 of 26 passes for 320 yards and two touchdowns, including an 88 yard strike to Pierre Garcon on his first pass. Griffin wasn’t the only rookie in the Redskins’ backfield that showed promise, though. Rookie tailback Alfred Morris came out and rushed for 96 yards, carrying the ball 28 times and scoring two key touchdowns for Washington. Morris and Griffin combined for 138 rushing yards, and four total touchdowns.
The Redskins were able to shock the Saints, and Griffin III was really the only rookie quarterback who looked great on Sunday. Top overall pick Andrew Luck was responsible for four turnovers against the Chicago Bears, and the Colts wound up losing 41-21 despite starting the game with a pick-six and a 7-0 lead. On the other sideline there, Jay Cutler and the Bears looked scary good offensively, and the defense was making plays as usual.
Luck was able to do some great things yesterday, but the Bears got the best of him and he was clearly flustered at times.
Russell Wilson looked okay for the Seahawks, who lost a close one to the Arizona Cardinals on a fourth down play that fell just short for Seattle. The bigger story here was that Kevin Kolb came in after John Skelton suffered an injury, and he played really well. Kolb completed six of his eight passes including the game winner for the Cardinals.
Elsewhere for rookie quarterbacks, Brandon Weeden and Ryan Tannehill looked pretty bad. They made some nice plays, but they seemed to be few and far in between. Those guys clearly have the worst supporting casts among the other rookie QBs, but they still looked well-behind in their development. Brandon Weeden finished with a quarterback rating of just over five, and a large reason why was because he completed only 12 passes and had four interceptions. Weeden also had two fumbles on the day.
Tannehill fared a little bit better, but is still searching for his first touchdown pass after throwing three interceptions and fumbling once. He completed 20 passes and was able to hit some guys for big plays, but sadly the only legitimate threat offensively for the Dolphins right now is Reggie Bush, and they need someone else to emerge for Tannehill to develop properly.