Why Robert Griffin III Dominated Yesterday While All The Other Rookie QBs Stunk

robert griffin iii washington redskins qb against new orleans saints 2012

Photo: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Robert Griffin III is the talk of the football world today after beating the Saints 40-32 in a fantastic career debut.He was 19/26 for 320 yards, 2 TDs, and 42 yards rushing on 10 carries.

On the other end of the rookie QB spectrum, Andrew Luck, Ryan Tannehill, Brandon Weeden, and Russell Wilson all struggled and lost yesterday.

So how did RG3 succeed where all of his peers failed?

It’s all about the learning curve. Chris Brown is the editor of Smart Football, and is fantastic at making indecipherable X’o and O’s of NFL football understandable. Here’s what he had to say about RG3:

Basically, the Redskins helped RG3 transition into the NFL game by running plays and schemes that he’s familiar with.

The reason so many rookie QBs struggle is because competence in the NFL requires an intimate understanding of complicated offensive and defensive systems.

If you read any of the preseason stories about Luck, Tannehill, Weeden, and Wilson, you saw a lot about “learning a new offence” and “growing pains” associated with a new NFL system. Traditionally, that’s how you break in a new QB — have him forget everything he learned in college, make him run a system he’s unfamiliar with, struggle for a few years, and then hope he eventually succeeds.

What the Redskins did with RG3 is different, more creative, and ultimately better in the short-term.

Yes, the NFL defenses will eventually catch up to the college-level read-option stuff that the Redskins are running. But by that time, RG3 will already have some experience under his belt, and will be more prepared to run a true NFL offence than his rookie counterparts.

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