Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III had the strongest start of any of the rookie class of 2012 quarterbacks. Griffin was masterful in leading the Redskins to an improbable 40-32 upset of the Saints. He completed 73 percent of his pass attempts for two scores to earn a 139.9 passer rating.
Andrew Luck drew a tougher assignment than Griffin by leading the Colts against the Bears in Chicago. It was a cough outing. Luck threw a late, meaningless touchdown, but had three picks while completing 51 percent of his attempts. One interception was a pickoff of a pass to Reggie Wayne in the end zone.
No team upgraded its offense more than Chicago did, so this game figured to be a shootout the Colts could not win. Bears QB Jay Cutler passed for 333 yards and two touchdowns, one to new favorite target Brandon Marshall (119 receiving yards). The Colts could not match the Bears on the ground and Chicago dominated time of possession by 11 minutes. Luck ended the day with a passer rating of 52.9 in the 41-21 loss.
Brandon Weeden matched Michael Vick's performance in the Eagles-Browns game. But, the match was in interceptions with four each. The Eagles extended its dream team season into 2012. Cleveland's defense kept the Browns in the game as both of their highly touted rookies struggled. RB Trent Richardson averaged 2.1 yards per carry for 39 yards and no score for Cleveland. But Weeden completed a mere one-third of his attempts to end the day with a 5.1 passer rating.
Cleveland's inability to put the game away at home allowed the Eagles to steal the win on Vick's four-yard strike to TE Clay Harper with 1:23 to go in the fourth quarter. The Eagles edged the Browns 17-16.
A strong defense can be a quarterback's best friend. Cleveland defense is friendly to Brandon Weeden. They hope he can return the favor.
The Texans showed complete mastery of the Dolphins in Ryan Tannehill"s debut game. Houston's defense victimized Tannehill for three picks late in the second quarter; two of them tipped balls recovered by the Texans. Houston built a 24-2 lead by halftime and were never challenged. Miami's only touchdown was Marcus Thigpen's 72-yard punt return in this 30-10 stinker.
The Dolphins defense could not do for Tannehill what Cleveland's D tried to do for Brandon Weeden – force turnovers or make stops. Fans will focus on Tannehill's performance, but the Dolphins are a long way from competitive performance.
Seattle trailed Arizona 10-3 at half time as this post is being written. Seahawks rookie QB Russell Wilson completed six of 11 passes for 59 yards. He has one interception.
Image credit – Ronald Martinez/Getty North America via zimbio.com from here.