Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Robert Griffin III vs. Andrew Luck – A Statistical Comparison

I keep hearing fans, commentators, and NFL pundits stating how terrible Robert Griffin III has been this season.  So I made a previous post comparing his stats with some other notable quarterbacks around the league, and found that RGIII’s stats weren’t much worse than theirs, and in some cases were better.

And when Michael Irvin questioned why RGIII was benched asking if that would have happened to Andrew Luck?  I decided to do another comparison, this time specifically between RGIII and Luck.  And I already knew what I would find, but I doubt some of RGIII’s critics would have.  So here it is, a comparison between the two this season, and through the first two seasons of their careers.

2013 Season Comparison:

RGIII vs. Luck

Career Comparison:

RGIII vs. Luck 2

Not much difference is there?  In fact Robert Griffin III is much better in certain categories.  But you would never know this listening to some of RGIII’s critics.  So what gives?  Maybe it’s the fact that Luck’s team the Indianapolis Colts are winning again this season, and the Washington Redskins are losing.

But I’ve stated before, the difference is in the coaching.  In Chuck Pagano, the Colts have a head coach who is hungry and has found the right tone and a winning attitude for his team.  But in the Mike Shanahan the Redskins have a coach who hasn’t won consistently for several years, and has gone through more QB’s recently than most coaches ever do.

Shanahan is blaming his failures on his owner Daniel Snyder, but is there a more controversial owner in the NFL right now than the Colts Jim Irsay?  Other than Snyder I doubt you could find one.  Jerry Jones maybe?  And this post isn’t meant to disparage Andrew Luck, because I think he’s a good young quarterback.

This post is meant to bring some clarity to the table and remind people, that things aren’t always as they seem.  By looking at the statistics you wouldn’t know which QB is significantly better than the other, because there’s not much difference there.  But for some reason there’s this perception that RGIII is playing really bad and Luck is playing really good.

While Mike Shanahan is more interested in playing mind games and power struggles with his owner, Chuck Pagano takes what he has and wins games.  Even if the performance of his QB isn’t perfect, he makes it work.  Something Mike Shanahan hasn’t been able to do in a long time.

The Colts have a coach who understands that defense and Special teams mean something.  And it’s time the Washington Redskins had a coach like that too.


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Tags: Andrew Luck Michale Irvin Robert Griffin III Washington Redskins

  • becky good

    Jim Irsay may be controversial and a loudmouth, but he doesn’t interfere in football matters like Jerry Jones or have “pet” players which causes problems in the locker room like Snyder. Big difference. But your comparison w/ Luck is spot on. I think the all the hype over him has been overblown anyway– lets wait til he’s actually ACCOMPLISHED something before we anoint him the next Peyton Manning, people.

    • Maurice Barksdale

      Thanks Becky. I think it’s like Michael Irvin said, you don’t really know what’s going on for sure until it gets leaked. I seriously doubt Dan Snyder is the only owner in the entire NFL who’s shown preferential treatment to a star player, but he’s the only one you’ve heard about.

  • Liam MacLean

    You forget the golden rule of QB stats, when did the QB get them. Keep in mind that Luck has been behind most of his games, then won, where as RG III has basically been in a bunch of blowouts. A lot of RG III’s stats come from five minutes left in the fourth quarter when he is down by 28 and the defense is playing prevent. Admittedly, the redskins have a worse defense. But keep in mind that the run heavy colts don’t have a good RB (like Alfred Morris) or even a decent O Line. It is not fair to blame their respective situations because through the same struggles Luck has a division title and RGIII does not. And honestly, just do the eye test on these two guys: Luck makes a couple frozen rope throws ever game and RGIII is struggling to hit open guys. So Luck is actually playing far better than RGIII. Also don’t give Pagano so much credit, he handcuffed Luck during the Chargers game with a run game that was not working.

    • Maurice Barksdale

      You make some great points Liam. But RGIII is right when he says the opposition knows what the Redskins offense is doing, that’s because it’s too predictable. And if the Redskins defense were even slightly better, RGIII wouldn’t have to come from behind all the time.

      He put the Redskins on his shoulders last season and won them the NFC East. The Redskins defense was bad last season, but RGIII was so good it didn’t matter. A torn ACL later, and Griffin is closer to being mortal and the rest of the team needs to be better to take up the slack and it isn’t.

  • T.Chara

    23 years ago headlines: John Elway lost millions of endorsements when Doug Williams won Super Bowl. 1 Christian coach had the moral strength to build a strong O line, safe locker room to give all people in DC the only Winning Afro Amer. SuperBowl QB ever in a league of 80% diversity. Joe Gibbs didn’t call plays & protection that would result in sacks, hurries for unwanted QB, he didn’t leak QB criticism to media to setup and sell a QB shutdown and humiliation of the most celebrated Afro American rookie QB ever. He treated J Campbell, D Williams with respect as much as possible in a league craving for the shameful status quo. Thanks J Madden, M Irvin, k. Warner for integrity wish you had the 14 million to give Coach to ride off into the sunset. Maybe owner will bring in a good team for stability and honor instead of money. Maybe we can believe that we too are worthy of an O line with plays that Brady, Manning and Luck enjoy.

    • Maurice Barksdale

      Mike Shanahan is no Joe Gibbs, that’s for sure. Not even close.