Robert Griffin III Was Clearly the Best Rookie in His Class

Brad Gagnon@Brad_Gagnon NFL National ColumnistFebruary 4, 2013

LANDOVER, MD - JANUARY 06:  Robert Griffin III #10 of the Washington Redskins embraces  Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks after the Seahawks defeated the Redskins 24 to 14 during the NFC Wild Card Playoff Game at FedExField on January 6, 2013 in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Ultimately, it wasn't very close. Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III won the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year award this past weekend in New Orleans, taking home 58 percent of the vote while Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (22) and Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (20) split the remaining 42 percent. 

And that's the way it should have been.

Because while Wilson finished stronger and his team beat Griffin's Redskins in the playoffs, that's not part of the criteria. These awards are about entire bodies of work, from Week 1 until the end of the regular season. No more, but also no less. What Wilson has done for us lately doesn't discount his early struggles. 

And in that respect, RG3 had a major edge over Luck and Wilson in the majority of the most relevant passing and rushing categories. Wilson's team might have gone deeper, but that's because they were better and healthier. That doesn't make Wilson better, though.

As I pointed out in a post from last month, Griffin was clearly better in clutch moments, on deep passes and under pressure.

He was also more consistent. Griffin had eight games with a triple-digit passer rating. Luck had only two. Only once did he fall below 70.0. Luck and Wilson did that three times each. 

Considering the support Wilson has had, his slow start, Luck's significantly inferior statistics and the fact that Luck and Wilson clearly didn't have substantial edges when it comes to intangible factors, fourth-quarter performances and advanced stats in general, there was no way you could give the Offensive Rookie of the Year award to anyone but Robert Griffin III.