NFL: Brandon Weeden ranks last among rookie quarterbacks
Historic day in the NFL on Sunday. Five rookie quarterbacks started. The most ever before on Opening Day had been two. And of the five, OSU’s Brandon Weeden clearly was the worst. Weeden played abysmal in the Browns’ 17-16 loss to the Eagles. Here are the five rookie QBs, ranked in order of performance:
1. Robert Griffin III, Washington: Let’s see; 19 of 26 passing, for 320 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. That’s not a great debut. That’s an acceptable career game. RG3 was purely sensational. The Redskins went to New Orleans and won 41-21. A star was born.
2. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis: The Colts were routed 41-21 by Chicago, but Luck wasn’t half bad. Luck completed 23 of 45 passes for 309 yards, three interceptions and one TD.
3. Russell Wilson, Seattle: The shortish Wilson continues to surprise. He wasn’t bad against the Cardinals. Wilson completed 18 of 34 for 153 yards, one interception and one touchdown. Not bad in Seattle’s 20-16 loss to Arizona, and Wilson drove the Seahawks down inside the 10-yard line in the final minute.
4. Ryan Tannehill, Miami: If it wasn’t for Weeden, Tannehill would be the focus of the struggling-rookie talk. Tannehill actually completed 20 of 36 for 219 yards, but he threw three interceptions. In the Dolphins’ 30-10 loss to Houston, Miami’s only TD came on a punt return.
5. Brandon Weeden, Cleveland: I got in the car at Will Rogers Airport on Sunday, about 3 p.m., after flying in from Arizona. I heard that the Browns were beating the Eagles, then by the time I got home Philly had rallied for a 17-16 victory. But I thought, wow, good for Weeden. Almost quarterbacked a big upset in his rookie debut. Then I saw the numbers. Weeden completed 12 of 35 passes, for 118 yards and four interceptions. The Browns’ only touchdown came on an interception return. In 21st century football, it’s hard, if not impossible, to find a quarterback who throws that many passes and completes just 34 percent.
Now, the results of Game 1 do not mean these guys are branded for their careers. We’re pretty sure Luck is going to be a fine NFL quarterback and maybe better than that. Now we feel the same way about Griffin. Wilson, Tannehill and Weeden? Who knows. They could be starting five years from now; they could be out of the league.
But be warned, struggling rookies. One reason you’ve got the job now is franchises aren’t patient. They’ll give you this year and maybe next. But there’s no growing into the job beyond two years.
And truth is, some of these guys drew tough assignments. Playing on the road (only Weeden played at home) is rough. Playing an established defense (Luck, Tannehill and Weeden did, and the Cardinals are no picnic) is not easy, either.
Message Sent Successfully
Be Sure to Check Out Our Top Headlines
Back to share with a friend form.
Add More Recipients