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Robert Griffin III shines in debut, Andrew Luck struggles

September 10, 2012|By Dan Loumena
  • Robert Griffin III, left, made all the right decisions in the Redskins' 40-32 victory, while the Colts' Andrew Luck had four turnovers in a 41-21 loss.
Robert Griffin III, left, made all the right decisions in the Redskins'… (Getty Images and EPA )

Robert Griffin III, the second overall pick in the NFL draft last spring, had a better debut on Sunday than No. 1 selection Andrew Luck. Statistically and in the win-loss column.

Griffin guided the Washington Redskins to a 40-32 upset of the New Orleans Saints. Then again, he was playing in his parents' hometown and against a mediocre defense missing one of its suspended starters.

Luck and the Indianapolis Colts traveled to Soldier Field in Chicago to take on the more defensive-oriented Bears, who yielded some points in an otherwise easy 41-21 victory.

Griffin was impressive in knowing when to pass and when to run, particularly early when he found open receivers. He completed 19 of 26 passes for 320 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions for a passer rating of 139.9. He gained 42 yards rushing.

“It's great for any quarterback to get a couple of easy passes at the beginning of a game so you can get into a rhythm,” Griffin said. “They were giving us those looks and I took advantage of them."

Coach Mike Shanahan was impressed.

"Robert did an unbelievable job," he said. "For him to play the way he did in his first game in the National Football League, with the poise that he played and some of the throws that he made, and to execute the offense in this environment. ... They threw a lot at us, very well-coached team. And to come away with the win and the way we played, it was a big plus for our guys."

While Griffin is the latest in a revolving quarterback door at Washington, Luck must replace Peyton Manning, who dealt with growing pains as he completed 21 of 37 passes for 302 yards and a touchdown with three interceptions in his debut.

Luck had similar number, completing 23 of 45 passes for 309 yards and a touchdown. He had three passes intercepted and lost a fumble, finishing with a passer rating of 52.9.

"There will a be a lot of positives, a lot of negatives. We'll try to learn from it," Luck said. "I'm still disappointed fresh off what happened, but we'll get over it."

Receiver Reggie Wayne, one of Manning's favorite targets the last few years, guarantees that Luck and the team will get better.

“Not everyone is going to come out the first time and be spectacular," Wayne said, adding, "especially at quarterback. He kept his poise no matter what. They're putting a lot on his shoulders, and he's taking it all in."

Wire service and Internet reports contributed to this story.

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