The Year of the Rookie and 2012 Wrap-up

2012 has been an amazing year for rookie quarterbacks in the NFL. The Rookie Offensive Player of the Year is a great topic to discuss given the simply astounding seasons we’ve seen from three of these players, Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson. Here’s my take and comparison of each one, plus how I would vote if I had a say.

Andrew Luck – In my opinion he tops the class and takes the ROY trophy. It’s narrow, but he takes the cake in my opinion. He’s done more with less overall than either of the other two. His QB rating, QBR and INTs are not as good as the other two, but the improvement to the Colts offense and impact on the team and franchise is exactly why he was drafted #1. Rookie passing yards record. Helped to lead a two win team from last year into the playoffs. Has out performed pretty much every expectation for him through the year.

Robert Griffin III – Number two in ROY, and just barely behind Luck. The biggest difference between these two for me is that RG3 has had the offense custom tailored more to his skill set than has had to be done for Luck. RG3 also has significantly more offensive talent around him along with another potential ROY candidate in Alfred Morris. These two will be a force in the NFC East for years to come and will continue to become one of the best QB/RB combos in the league. RG3 has it all and has completely validated the high cost it took for the Redskins to take him. He has rejuvenated a franchise as well and made the NFC East very interesting for the foreseeable future. I just can’t look past the fact that Luck nearly completed as many passes as RG3 attempted. It shows how much more of the load Luck carried.

Russell Wilson – Wow. Just wow. I was impressed by his ability to come in and lead Wisconsin last year. I’m astounded by what he’s doing in Seattle. He’s a gamer, doesn’t shy away from the big moments and is clearly going to continue to be the QB of the future for the Seahawks, size be damned. He’s 3rd in my vote mostly because he’s got a very solid defense playing with him and just doesn’t impress me the way RG3 and Luck do. He’s good, he could be great, but right now I feel like he’s getting a huge boost from being on a much better overall team than both RG3 and Luck. One thing is for certain, no matter what team Russell Wilson is on, they win. He’s a winner and will continue to be.

I would vote 1. Luck 2. RG3 3. Wilson 4. Morris

Finally, here’s how I turned out on my BHAP for 2012:

The #1 & #2 Picks prove why they’re #1 & #2 – Nailed it. This was a cupcake lay-up, but I nailed it anyway. I’m still question how Snyder will handle this team long term, but the immediate future is very bright in Washington. Indianapolis has landed what appears to be the second coming of Peyton Manning, at least as it appears now.

Chad Ocho-Johnson won’t be on the Dolphins by week #6 – Nailed this one too. He didn’t even make it through the preseason. I think like 1-2 weeks after I posted this he was toast. Good start to my BHAP 2012.

The Saints will not make the playoffs – Holy shit I’m on a roll here. 3 for 3 so far. Just how much does New Orleans value Sean Payton? He received a contract extension after not coaching at all this year.

The Patriots and Packers get better on Defense – Right again. Bigger jump by the Packers from last year to this year in overall defense, but both got better. The Patriots still need to figure out the whole CB situation and how they’re going to get better, but it’s a process. Getting Aqib Talib for a 4th round draft pick (if they resign him) is stealing. Most surprising defense this year to me was Denver. They don’t get enough credit for the run that team has made, mostly because Peyton is playing for them now.

Kevin Kolb will win – Yikes. Definitely missed this one, though to be fair he was playing pretty well until he got hurt. But yeah, this one is certainly a miss. I guess I can’t be 100% prophetic.

More historic passing numbers – This is kind of a draw. While we didn’t see someone throw 51+ TDs, we did see several rookie records for passing fall. I was wrong about the specific record, but was correct about records falling.

Final tally – 4.5 out of 6

Best story of the year is Adrian Peterson. He should win MVP and it shouldn’t be close (and this is coming from a very loyal Green Bay Packers fan). I know everyone will say Peyton Manning, but here is my counter to that. The Broncos got into the playoffs last year and won a game based on defense and their running game with Tim “Get me out of New York” Tebow at QB. They were clearly going to be better with a real QB, especially when that real QB is Peyton Manning. They rank top 5 in both Offense and Defense. Only team in the league to do so. The Vikings on the other hand have pretty much one game plan on offense, give the rock to AP and let him carry us. He tore his ACL and MCL a little over 12 months ago at this point, nearly broke the single season rushing record and helped carry his team to the playoffs (remember they won 3 games last year). If you take AP away from the Vikings, they probably win 2-4 games this year. You take Peyton away from the Broncos they probably end up right around where they were last year, maybe playoffs, maybe not, but certainly not regressing. If that isn’t the difference between an MVP and everyone else, then I guess I just don’t know what an MVP is.

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