If Saturday’s night game at FedEx Field were any indication, the NFL’s quarterback-driven popularity is in pretty good hands for the next decade or so. Rookie quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III were both as good as advertised in the much-anticipated preseason game between their respective teams, the Indianapolis Colts and the Washington Redskins.
Luck went No. 1 overall as the two highly-regarded prospects were the first two players selected in the most recent NFL Draft, with each knowing they will likely be inextricably linked for the rest of their careers.
Both players showed why their arrivals were so anticipated by their respective franchises, each showing tremendous poise and command in the pocket that belied their youth in the Redskins’ 30-17 win.
Luck completed 14 of 23 pass attempts for 151 yards and a touchdown, while Griffin, who was last year’s Heisman Trophy winner, went 11 of 17 for 74 yards and a scoring strike of his own.
Both players completed at least one pass on every drive before leaving the game after just one third-quarter series.
“I haven’t had any overall bad performances for myself,” Griffin said. “I thought [Luck] did a good job out there as well. [The media] blew this up as head-to-head, and we’ll see what happens next.”
Barring an unlikely Super Bowl match-up, the two quarterbacks won’t see each other on the field again until a 2014 regular season meeting.
But there’s no escaping the comparisons.
“It’s not something you can just push away or put aside,” Griffin said. “It’s everywhere. It’s going to be there for our entire careers.”
The Colts are coming off a 2-14 season a year ago, while the Redskins are hoping to better their 5-11 mark from last year.
Through three preseason games, Luck has completed 63 percent (40 of 64) of his passes for 514 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions. Griffin has been on target for 65 percent of his attempts (20 of 31) for 193 yards and two scores without an interception.