Image courtesy of the NFL
IUSC’s Johnathan Whalen gives his take on week 1 in the NFL, as well as how the rookie quarterbacks performed
With week 1 in the books for the NFL, the time has come to recap the opening week of the 2012-2013 season. A record-breaking five rookie quarterbacks led their teams on the field to begin their NFL careers, and a few intriguing outcomes caught the eyes of NFL fans everywhere.
Second overall pick, Robert Griffin III, led his Washington Redskins into Saints territory and left with a win. RG3 put up the best numbers by far of any other of the rookie quarterbacks when he completed 19 of 26 passes for a total of 320 yards, including two touchdowns. Griffin also showed off his running ability in week 1, collecting 42 yards on 10 rushing attempts.
Washington won 42-32 in the opening game. And although it was against a Saints defense without their core in the likes of Jonathan Vilma, Griffin stepped up and delivered an outstanding performance not just for a rookie, but for an NFL quarterback.
The day didn’t pan out as well for Browns QB, Brandon Weeden. Weeden threw four interceptions while only completing 12 of his 25 passes for a mere 118 yards. Had Weeden been able to connect on a few more passes, the outcome of the Eagles and Browns game could have turned, as Philadelphia sneaked out a one-point win, 17-16.
Russell Wilson looked a little more comfortable than Weeden, finishing with 18 completions on 34 pass attempts, including one touchdown and an interception. Starting Wilson came as a surprise to many, as he led the Seattle Seahawks in week 1. Arizona defeated Seattle 20-16.
For rookie sensation Andrew Luck, his performance was fairly average as to what was expected. Going up against a tough Chicago defense, Luck finished with 309 yards and a touchdown on Sunday. Although his yardage was impressive, Luck tossed up three interceptions for the day. It’s clear that Luck has the arm to carry a team, and will become more comfortable with playing against NFL caliber players. The stats will improve, especially when Indianapolis improves their running game, as that will give defenses something else to worry about.
Ryan Tannehill from the Miami Dolphins struggled in game one. Tannehill gave up three interceptions in his 20 for 36 performance with a total of 219 yards. Going up against Houston, it is clear that more than 10 points is needed to beat such a strong team. As time goes on, Tannehill, as well as others, will learn from their mistakes and try to improve. With that said, for some of these quarterbacks, the pressure is on. A starting position in the NFL is never guaranteed.
Two outcomes that stood out the most in week 1 were the Cowboys versus the Giants as well as the meeting of the Packers and 49ers.
Dallas and New York opened the season last Wednesday night with their meeting at MetLife Stadium. Tony Romo lit up the scoreboard with three touchdowns for 307 yards to go along with a 75 percent completion percentage.
The addition of Kevin Ogletree looks to be something special. Ogletree finished the day with eight receptions for 114 yards and two touchdowns. If the two can continue to produce on the field, this will only open up room for guys like Dez Bryant and Miles Austin.
San Francisco and Green Bay met in Wisconsin, as the 49ers came out victorious in a 30-22 contest. The main story from this competition was the lack of Green Bay defense. Alex Smith stayed cool, as he threw for two touchdowns and 211 yards.
Thursday starts week 2, as the Green Bay Packers host the Chicago Bears. With another home game for the Pack, going 0-2 would be unacceptable to head coach Mike McCarthy. Look for an intense matchup on Thursday night.
As for these rookie quarterbacks, it is now time to improve. Last week is over and now the focus in on this weekend. How will these players and teams perform after their start last week? Only time will tell.