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Win a copy of Madden 2013 by telling us who should be this year’s NFL rookie of the year

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ProFootballZone
ProFootballZone
Senior Columnist

Should RG3, Andrew Luck or Russell Wilson be this season's Rookie of the Year? Read my analysis and then let me hear your thoughts!

Join the discussion and leave your opinion, insight or analysis. Spark a debate, defend your choice for ROTY or call someone else's choice out! All you have to do is contribute before 12 pm PST on the 28th of December and the top contributor will be picked by me to receive a brand new copy of Madden 2013! How's that for a great post-Christmas present!

So jump in and add your thoughts: There's no limit to how many replies you can make!

Arka Ray
Arka Ray
Senior Analyst

Alright folks, here we go again: Jump in and tell us who you think the Rookie of the Year should be and Paul will select the top contributor to win a copy of Madden 13!

I'll get us started I guess: This year's ROTY award is probably the most exciting and hotly-contested one in recent memory. Usually it's obvious who the ROTY is and most people take any interest in the award only once its announced and pops up on ESPN.com and on Sportscenter. This year couldn't be more different, with 3 stellar rookie QBs, each having secured a playoff berth for his team (or on the cusp of doing so in case of RG3). What is also amazing is, as Paul mentioned, none of these teams were even close to sniffing the playoffs last year, making the contribution of the rookie QBs even more amazing.

RG3 is electric. There's no other way of describing him. He is the most exciting young man to play the QB position in the NFL since Mike Vick re-defined what a QB could do on the offense. But RG3's ceiling is higher: He is every bit the elusive runner Vick was, but a much stronger passer than Vick was as a rookie (and I'd argue even in his 2010 season). In fact, RG3 is a much more complete QB than Vick has ever been and the only basis of comparison might be the jaw dropping plays that they both pulled out on a regular basis and re-energized a flagging, hungry fanbase. There is no doubt that as well as Shanahan and his crew have coached this team, there is no way the Skins would've made a run toward the playoff without RG3. However, RG3 was picked in the draft to lead this team out of the dumps, and had a first-tier coaching and personnel cast to support him. Any other year, he'd be my pick for ROTY, but this year, the other two candidates seem more worthy to me.

Let's talk Russell Wilson: Unlike RG3, nothing was handed to Wilson. He, much like Aaron Rodgers before him, came up the hard way: Had to leave NC State, tried his hand at the MLB, came back to Wisconsin and turned in a great year, yet dropped to the 3rd round in the draft because of concerns with his height. Got drafted as a backup QB to the guy who was hottest free-agent last year besides Peyton Manning and beat Matt Flynn for the starting job before opening day. Started slow, faced tons of criticism from a vocal fanbase (yours truly included), but categorically turned everyone into a fan with undeniable results on and off the field, taking his team to the playoffs in what might be the best division in the NFL. However, Wilson was helped by a top-3 defense in his quest to make the Seahawks a playoff team. In the games when Wilson had to do little more than game-manage, that scary defense took care of business at home in front of the best crowd in Football. This isn't an advantage that our 3rd candidate had.

Thus we come to my pick: Andrew Luck. It pains me as a Cal Bears and Seahawks fan to pick a former Stanford QB over a Seahawks QB, but the fact is that Luck, even though he was handed the keys to the Colts on a platter, earned those keys with an amazing 3 years at Stanford (look at what happened to Matt Barkley in his senior season) and faced challenging circumstances on a team that was being rebuilt from being the worst team in the league, and an average O-line and an average defense. But from his very first game, Luck showed poise and the sheer will to win and is the #1 reason the Colts are in the playoffs, and that Indy fans don't care that Peyton Manning is burning the house down in Denver. And all this under an interim head coach, made more impressive when you see that even a future HOF-er like Drew Brees couldn't overcome that adversity.

Honestly, there isn't a right choice here, but if I had to pick at gunpoint, my ranking would be: 1. Luck, 2. Wilson, 3. RG3.

Travis Jones
Travis Jones
Columnist

For me, it's gotta be RG3. Like Paul said, his efficiency at the QB position is unprecedented. I've heard the argument for Luck a million times: his completion percentage is bad because he is asked to do more, make tougher throws, etc. To that I say, great, but isn't the job of a QB to execute the offensive gameplan as effectively as possible? RG3's superior athleticism caused Shanahan to design an offense around him; don't knock Griffin for doing exactly what his coaches ask of him.

Also, it' requires little creativity to cite Indy's dismal 2-14 season last year. But let's be fair, they had an enviable, near-dynastic run with Peyton at the helm, and not exactly ancient history. The Redskins have been poo for years and years, so don't underestimate the franchise-changing effect of RG3.

Don't write off Alfred Morris

Curtis Lu
Curtis Lu
Contributor

I vote Wilson simply because I'm a Seahawks fan and that he has had more to prove since he was a 3rd round selection and wasn't even the projected starter. His leadership is the wildcard trumps the numbers which are competitive between all 3.

CJay

I say RG3 is ROY because he took a team that has had an awful history the past few yrs with QB's and morphed them into a potential playoff team. Seattle and Indy has had respected teams with qb's such as Manning and Hasselback. Washington has pretty much been a joke over the last decade. I look at Washington as a 180 whereas Seattle with the 12th man and Indy with a couple SB appearances are like a 75 to 90 degree turnaround .

Marios Assiotis
Marios Assiotis
Analyst

What about Doug Martin? 1300+ rush yds, 1000 of which were in the first 10 games. I think he is not a contender just because of the lack of media coverage. My choice is still Luck though, even though RG3 is better at the moment. Luck walked in to a team that was in shambles, lost the head coach mid-season and still stood up to the occasion. And he is a total bad-ass (look at some of his tackling footage)

Eric Odell-Hein
Eric Odell-Hein
Contributor

Wilson is one TD pass away from Manning's rookie record for TD passes. He's leading his team to a 10 or 11 win season when he wasn't expected to even be starter. His leadership is exceptional, and he elevates the other rookies on the team. He's won the respect of the veterans, who I think would go to war for him.

Kyle

Without a doubt it should he Andrew Luck. Unlike Wilson and RG3, Luck has virtually zero weapons on either side of the ball, yet he has almost single handedly put the Colts in playoff contention. Look at it this way: QBs aside, which team is the worst? The answer would be the Colts. Luck put that teal on his back and breathed life back into them.

Vinay Kuruvila
Vinay Kuruvila
Analyst

My pick is RG3, and I wanted to add a couple of additional points that no one has mentioned so far.

Luck has had a ridiculously easy schedule. Indy only beat 2 teams with a winning record: Vikings and Packers, and they have a negative point differential. Luck has also had way too many picks, that were simply the result of bad decision making on his part. Kyle says Luck had no weapons on either side of the ball, but he actually had five-time pro-bowler Reggie Wayne for every game.

Wilson on the other hand, there were also many games where he was not asked to do much. We also simply can’t ignore the first third of the season, where he flat out played at a very mediocre level. However, Wilson is now putting up some solid numbers and the SF game was no exception. When you factor in his 3rd round draft pick status, his size, it is fairly damn impressive.

Griffin put in his numbers (#2 QB Rating in the NFL) with his top wide-receiver out for half the season. And with his top tight-end out for the entire season. RG3 has been the most consistent steady explosive force since week 1. Andrew Luck had. A lot of people are saying that Luck does not have a top rushing offense to support him like the Redskins. Griffin is big part of the reason for the Skins’ top rushing offense damnit!

Finally, no one seems to be considering watchability. Both RG3 and Wilson are incredibly fun to watch (not to mention similar), while Luck simply isn’t that exciting or dynamic.

My rankings are 1.RG3 2. Wilson 3. Luck. Though, Wilson’s trajectory is crazy right now, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he turned the conversation in his favor in the playoffs. I’m salivating just thinking about a possible Redskins-Seahawks game in the playoffs. If that game happens, the eventual ROY will definitely be the winner of that game.

Eric Odell-Hein
Eric Odell-Hein
Contributor

Wilson had the same weapons as Tavaris did last year, and he's 1 TD pass short of the rookie record for TD passes (set by Manning)--while only tossing 10 picks. He may pass Manning's record this weekend while playing with the same team that's been mediocre to terrible on offense without him.

Sal Erickson
Sal Erickson
Senior Columnist

I think Vinay and others who are discounting Luck in this discussion are overlooking his ability to win Football games. At the end of the day, what matters is how prepared a QB is to win games for his team, and Luck, in several games including the one against Green Bay, led game-winning drives that would have made Tom Brady proud. That is where true value for a player lies, not in how watchable he is.
Also agree with Eric on the fact that Wilson has made everyone on the offense better through his play. That's what great QBs do: They take average players and elevate them to a higher level. Brady, Manning, Rodgers, Brees are all examples of this and this is what Russell Wilson has shown himself capable of.
RG3 on the other hand, even when missing Pierre Garcon (an offensive weapon btw that the Colts lost), had Santana Moss to throw to. Luck's #2 is TY Hilton / Donnie Avery for crying out loud and Wilson's #2 is a merry bunch with people like McCoy and Baldwin.

Stewart B Putney
Stewart B Putney
Contributor

Sorry to inject a note of cynicism, but RGIII will likely win based on his being in a larger media market. All three QBs have a case, with Wilson the hottest hand right now. But the NFL is a marketing-focused league. Most people still don't know about Wilson (kicking the Niners butts helped), almost everyone knows about Luck and RGIII. All other things being equal, RGIII plays against the Giants, Eagles and Cowboys. Big teams/markets. Lots of media.

getsmartt
getsmartt
Contributor

A lot is going to depend on who makes, and how far they progress in, the playoffs. But I honestly feel that Wilson’s performance should get him the ROY. No one expected him to get the starting job, much less be as good as he has been.

Asa Beal
Asa Beal
Senior Analyst

I think the media scrutiny and immense pressure RG3 has had since his NFL birth makes his performance this year all the more impressive. And why is everyone claiming RG3 somehow has superior weapons to these other guys?? Santana Moss is solid, but is definitely on the downside of a meh career. Pierre Garcon was a nobody who Peyton Manning turned into a somebody, so you have to give Griffin the same credit for making him look like an All-Pro. RG3 has made guys like Leonard Hankerson look like studs all year (and as Vinay said, no starting TE either). Alfred Morris is a beast, but he was a 6TH ROUNDER and wasn't even tabbed to start. Combine that with a very shaky Skins D and you can see, all the pressure has been on RG3 from the start, and all he has done is exactly what his coaches asked of him, made players better around him, sets some records along the way, and OH YEAH Washington might win the division! None of the other candidates can claim that (Sorry, Seahawk fans, the Niners ain't losing to AZ).

Arka Ray
Arka Ray
Senior Analyst

Well, it's a lot easier to win your division when your opponents are the 2012 Eagles, 2012 Giants and (any season's) Cowboys.
The NFC West and NFC South both have juggernaut teams this season: The Seahawks have come as close as possible to winning the West, despite SF's dominance, while the Colts have had to wrestle with a very good Texans team.
And the Redskins haven't really won it yet: If the Cowboys can keep their offensive momentum going, there is a decent chance that they beat the Skins and win the East outright. This would suddenly become a very different conversation then.

Sal Erickson
Sal Erickson
Senior Columnist

I'm with Stewart btw, I think at the end of the day a lot of these awards become popularity contests, and given the amount of media attention RG3's gotten, I find it difficult to believe that anyone else will win this (unless Wilson or Luck do amazing things in the playoffs).

ProFootballZone
ProFootballZone
Senior Columnist

I believe Wilson, RG3 and Luck are worthy of winning the award, but I have to give the edge to griffin because of the fact that he plays in a tougher division than both Wilson and Luck and is also playing with a poor defense, unlike Wilson who has a stud defense with him in Seattle. RG3 has also put up some very impressive rushing and passing numbers.

Geekdad248

Gotta go with the Colts - look at the Detroit Lions type broken season they had in 2011 and compare it to their playoff bid and ANDREW LUCK has been the cornerstone as a rookie of the Indy team. May not have overall athletic ability of RG3 but I witnessed first hand him lead the Colts to a victory over the Lions in a game they shouldn't have won through his composure. This from a rookie QB whose team had their head coach knocked out by cancer and dealing with interim leadership. So I throw my vote to ANDREW LUCK because I don't think it's just been pure luck that has the Colts winning games this season

Gary Frank

TO easy.......... RG3zee

Gary Frank

TO easy.......... RG3zee

Gary Frank

TO easy..........RG3zee

Asa Beal
Asa Beal
Senior Analyst

Sorry, Arka, but you're not gonna get me to buy this crap about the NFC West being vastly harder to win this year than the East. Yes, I think the NFC East (AKA America's Division) is perennially overrated due to its media status, but that doesn't mean it was an easy division to win this year. How about 4 games against the Cardinals and Rams?? I know St. Louis' D is improved, but come on, they're barely an average team. So the Seahawks have 2 very tough games against the Niners (one of which they win convincingly), but then go 1-2 so far (likely 2-2) vs. the other 2 teams in that division? I'm not impressed.

With gritty divisional rival games being so psychologically important (as compared with other reg season games), and having home-field for a playoff game being huge, let's not discount winning your division. It's true, the Skins could lose to Dallas, and then my whole theory goes to shit. Either way, let's all take a moment to thank the NFL gods for granting us such a wondrous season, that we have three playoff rookie QBs to debate about.

Dean Lake
Dean Lake
Editor

Don't write off Alfred Morris. He could break the Redskins all-time single-season rushing record this week. Most rushing yards in a season in the team's 80 year history. As a rookie. Think about all those incredible Clinton Portis years. The Stephen Davis years. The Terry Allen years. The John Riggins years. Alfred Morris is about to top all of them in his first year.

Avi Ben-Menahem

Wilson will probably break Payton's rookie season TDs record and should definitely be up there with RG3 and Luck. That said, I still think RG3 will take the crown this year.

Geekdad248

If RGIII can't close out NFC East against Dallas tonight than I think he also won't be able to close out the Rookie of the Year Award either with all the talent in the pool this year

Sal Erickson

Yes, there's no doubt that RG3 needs to get into the Playoffs in order to lock the ROTY award down. Becomes a 2-horse race if Dallas makes it to the playoffs instead of the Redskins.

Geekdad248

I think that Alfred Morris just edged out RGIII for the Redskins contender for Rookie of the Year as he shouldered the burden of getting them into the playoffs...200 yards and three touchdowns against Dallas! still with the Colts going 11-5 after the horrible year they had in 2011 I believe the luck's going to be with LUCK for rookie of the year ... if all the attention wasn't on the rookie QBs this season I think Morris would have it locked up though!

Theodore Braddock

I think Russel Wilson should be rookie of the year.

Asa Beal

Anybody know when the voting takes place? I know MLB votes before the postseason