• Rookie Report: Week Fourteen (QBs)

    The article ended up running a bit longer than usual, so I decided to split it into two halves and post just the quarterback summary in one article while posting the rest of it in another.

    Week Fourteen Quarterback Rankings:

    1) Nick Foles - 32/51 (62.7%) - 381 yards - 7.5 YPA - 2 TDs - 0 INTs
    2) Robert Griffin III - 15/26 (57.7%) - 246 yards - 9.5 YPA - 1 TD - 0 INTs
    3) Russell Wilson - 7/13 (53.8%) - 148 yards - 11.4 YPA - 1 TD - 1 INT
    4) Brandon Weeden - 17/30 (56.7%) - 217 yards - 7.2 YPA - 0 TDs - 0 INTs
    5) Ryan Tannehill - 17/33 (51.5%) - 150 yards - 4.5 YPA - 1 TD - 0 INTs
    6) Andrew Luck - 16/34 (47.1%) - 196 yards - 5.8 YPA - 1 TD - 2 INTs

    *Ryan Lindley and Kirk Cousins omitted due to not starting the game and playing fewer than half of offensive snaps.

    It was not a great week by any means for our lot of rookie signal callers. Surprisingly enough, coming out of the week wearing the crown is Nick Foles, who up until this game against Tampa Bay had experienced his fair share of struggles. Now it should be noted that the Buccaneers are sporting one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL, especially after the trade of Aqib Talib and the suspension of Eric Wright, but nonetheless Foles shined and earned his first NFL victory in the process. Particularly impressive was how he overcame adversity in the fourth quarter and led the Eagles to two touchdown drives. His pass to Jason Avant that was caught one-handed on the sideline early in the game was on a lot of highlight shows the next day, but an even bigger pass to Avant occurred on fourth down with just sixteen seconds left. Trailing by five, Foles put the ball in between two Tampa defensive backs and into Avant's hands. This put the Eagles at the one-yard line, and resulted in the game-winning touchdown pass to Jeremy Maclin on the next play.

    Robert Griffin III may not have finished the game against Baltimore on Sunday, but his performance in the vast majority of the game was rather solid and put the Redskins in a position to claim victory and keep themselves alive in the NFC postseason race. About the only thing he could've done better was throwing another touchdown or two, but the rest of his numbers are right about where we've come to expect from the rookie phenom. His completion percentage looks a little bit lighter than usual, but if you factor in that he had two of his passes dropped and another one batted down at the line and take those away, you get a completion percentage of about 65%. Griffin also struggled on the ground in this game, with his seven rushes producing only twenty-five yards and a fumble to go along with it, which luckily for the Redskins was recovered and did not result in a turnover.

    Russell Wilson only attempted thirteen passes and still checks in as the third-best rookie quarterback for week fourteen. How? Well a lot of it is due to his contemporaries putting in less than impressive performances themselves. Wilson didn't exactly shine himself in this game, which you would be forgiven for being surprised by, considering the final score of this affair. Wilson had two big plays in this one that accounted for over half of his total yardage. The first one came with 24 seconds to go in the first quarter, where Wilson lined up in shotgun and fired a ball deep down the left side of the field to a wide open Anthony McCoy, who got a nice block from Sidney Rice and rumbled all the way down to the Arizona 4 and gained 67 yards. The second play came with only 11 seconds left before halftime, looking for his other tight end Zach Miller after he beat Paris Lenon down the seam, and fitting the pass in for a 24-yard touchdown before the safeties could converge.

    Brandon Weeden was incredibly adequate against the Kansas City Chiefs; limiting his mistakes, throwing efficiently, and getting a few doses of good luck on his side as well. The final stat line says that he didn't throw any interceptions, but both Eric Berry and Tysyn Hartman should have come away with picks in the second half that they ultimately dropped. Either of which could've potentially given the Chiefs enough momentum to get back in the game. Weeden also struggled mightily when facing a blitz, going just 4/14 and recording a completion percentage of 28.6%. When he wasn't blitzed? A very impressive 13/16 (81.3%) for 142 yards and his only touchdown of the day.

    It was a tale of two quarterbacks for the Miami Dolphins this past Sunday, as Ryan Tannehill performed in one very distinguishable manner when he was not under pressure, and another very distinguishable, far more extreme manner, when he was under pressure. When Tannehill got the benefit of time to throw from his offensive line, he posted a line of 16/24 (66.7%) for 142 yards and a touchdown. Certainly a respectable day by just about any means of looking at things. However, things took a drastic turn when pressure leaked through the line. On the eleven snaps where Tannehill was pressured, he was sacked twice, and mustered just one completion on nine attempts for a grand total of eight yards. This goes a long way to helping explain his incredibly low yards per attempt figure, which sat at 5.9 when not under pressure, and 0.9 when he was.

    Last but most certainly not least, Andrew Luck checks in at the bottom of this week's rankings. He didn't have a particularly appalling or dreadful game, but there were enough questionable decisions and head-scratching throws that leads me to even further doubt the validity of any studio analyst or writer who was campaigning for Luck as the Rookie of the Year just a few weeks ago. His two interceptions were both on very poor throws and one of which could've easily been a death knell for the Colts if not for Jake Locker being undone on what would have been a rather nice day for him as well without his miscues. The second of his two picks came on a Hail Mary pass at the end of the first half that simply sailed on him by a fair margin and ended up in the hands of Al Afalava. The first interception, which was returned for a touchdown, cannot be defended in any way, shape, or form. Going to the ground while being sacked by Derrick Morgan, Luck gets rid of the ball and it goes directly to Titans LB Will Witherspoon, who promptly runs it all the way back for six points. Luck still had plays where it was evident to everyone why he was the #1 pick in the Draft, but any discussion of Offensive Rookie of the Year centering around a quarterback has to begin and end at RG3.