RG3 vs. Andrew Luck: Who Is the Rookie of the Year Heading into Week 14?

Chris Trapasso@ChrisTrapassoAnalyst IDecember 4, 2012

Apr 26, 2012; New York, NY, USA; Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck (right) and Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III (left) pose for a photo on the red carpet before the start of the 2012 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: James Lang-USA TODAY Sports
James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III better get used to it. 

Thanks to the timing of their incredibly distinguished collegiate careers, the 2012 NFL draft and awe-inspiring transcendent ability, they will forever be linked as quarterbacks.

Now 12 games into their rookie seasons, each signal-caller has, to some, exceeded expectations in different ways. 

No one expected the Indianapolis Colts to even remotely contend for a playoff spot after a 2-14 2011 and a complete organizational overhaul in the offseason. 

Luck has his boys sitting comfortably at 8-4 in the AFC's No. 5 spot. 

As for Griffin III, his Washington Redskins are a game out of the playoffs, but he's set multiple individual records and has the highest QB rating (104.4) for a rookie quarterback after 12 games in league history.

So, as seems to be the appropriate way to start what will likely be perennial Luck/RG3 debates, who deserves Offensive Rookie of the Year honors? 

By looking solely at the statistics, Luck won't blow you away. Only John Skelton and Mark Sanchez have a lower completion percentage, and Blaine Gabbert, Michael Vick and Christian Ponder have a higher QB rating—shows you how those statistics don't always tell the whole story, doesn't it?

He has thrown 17 touchdown passes which have been offset by 16 interceptions. 

Luck averages an even 300 passing yards per game, and his 3,596 passing yards are fourth in the league. As a runner, the Stanford alum has mustered 216 yards and has accounted for five additional touchdowns.

To put it simply, Griffin III has been far more efficient. 

His aforementioned 104.4 QB rating trails only Aaron Rodgers and Peyton Manning for the league lead. In this case, the QB rating metric is quite telling. 

Funny how that works. 

RG3 is completing more than 67 percent of his passes with 17 touchdowns and only four interceptions. On the ground, he has 714 yards with six more touchdowns. 

However, statistics aren't the only criteria used when determining any individual award, and Luck and Griffin III have found themselves in slightly contrasting circumstances. 

Bleacher Report's Senior NFL editor Collin McCollough, someone who grew up a Colts fan, tweeted this before the Redskins' Monday Night Football clash with the New York Giants.

I wanna watch tonight specifically to compare Washington and Indy O-Lines.Have a feeling it's Washington by about 6,000 miles.

— Collin McCollough (@cmccollo) December 4, 2012

While McCollough may have been moderately exaggerating, the general consensus is that Indianapolis' offensive front is more porous than Washington's.

Then again, neither offensive line is atrocious or elite. 

Outside of that minimal discrepancy, Luck and Griffin III have vastly similar on-field surroundings. 

Each have a productive veteran wideout—for Luck, it's Reggie Wayne. For RG3, it's Santana Moss. 

The rest of each team's receiving corps are better known for widespread inconsistency than anything else, although Luck and Griffin III have, arguably, allowed guys like LaVon Brazill, T.Y. Hilton, Aldrick Robinson and Leonard Hankerson to reach their full potential.

Had Pierre Garcon stayed healthy, Griffin III would probably have been given the edge in terms of weapons around him, but he didn't, and Dwayne Allen has been a steady contributor for Luck from the tight end spot. 

For the sake of argument, let's say Garcon and Allen represent a wash. 

Luck doesn't have the luxury Griffin III has with Alfred Morris, but much of the Florida Atlantic alum's success has come due to Washington's creative scheme and his quarterback's running prowess. 

Griffin III has gotten his team into the thick of the NFC playoff picture, and Luck has his team in the driver's seat for a wild-card spot in his conference. 

With nearly equal team accomplishment and quite the gap in statistical achievement with similar supporting casts, right now, Robert Griffin III deserves the Offensive Rookie of the Year award.