The Seahawks' Russell Wilson was one of three rookie passers to win for the first time in Week 2.Week 1 was not a banner week for the majority of the five rookie starting quarterbacks, the most to start in a week since 1950. But the handful of first-year starters showed on Sunday that one game of experience can make a difference.
In the opener, the five passers combined to throw four touchdowns compared to 11 interceptions. Among them, only Robert Griffin III of the Washington Redskins won his debut. Week 2 was a different story, though, with the rookies combining to toss seven touchdowns and just one pick. They also raised their collective completion percentage from 52.3 to 67.3. And maybe most importantly, three of them picked up their first career win. Here is a closer look:
Rookie QBs vs 4 or Fewer Pass Rushers
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft, threw for 224 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in a 23-20 victory over the Minnesota Vikings. It took former Colt Peyton Manning until the seventh game of his rookie season to have an interception-free game.
Luck, who tossed three picks in his debut against the Chicago Bears, showed marked improvement when facing four or fewer pass rushers. In fact, rookies across the board proved to be better against four or fewer rushers than they were in the opener.
Griffin’s Redskins lost 31-28 to the St. Louis Rams, but it was not because of a poor effort on his part. He became the first Redskins player since Mark Rypien in 1992 to have at least one passing touchdown and two rushing scores in a game, and according to the Elias Sports Bureau, his 82 rushing yards were the most by a Washington quarterback since Harry Gilmer in 1952.
Robert Griffin III Passing 11+ Yds Downfield
In addition to excelling with his legs, Griffin has been deadly early on when throwing the ball downfield.
Seattle Seahawks third-round pick Russell Wilson didn’t post extraordinary numbers in a 27-7 win over the Dallas Cowboys, throwing for 150 yards and a score, but he had the highest completion percentage (75.0) by a Seahawks rookie in franchise history (minimum 20 attempts). After completing just 40.9 percent of his passes against five or more rushers in Week 1, Wilson only saw that type of pressure on five attempts against the Cowboys.
The Miami Dolphins' Ryan Tannehill was also much better in Week 2. After throwing three interceptions and no touchdowns in his debut and earning himself a Total QBR of 3.1, Tannehill went 18-for-30 with one passing touchdown and one rushing score for a 76.2 QBR in a 35-13 triumph over the Oakland Raiders.
Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden bounced back from a dismal Week 1 performance in which he threw four interceptions and no touchdowns for a QBR of 1.2, the worst of any passer in the opening week. Sunday in a 34-27 loss to the Bengals, however, Weeden threw two scores with no picks for a QBR of 56.0.