By Chuck Schilken
8:11 AM PST, January 15, 2013
Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III beat out fellow quarterbacks Andrew Luck of Indianapolis and Russell Wilson of Seattle, as well as several other impressive first-year NFL players, as Pro Football Weekly/Pro Football Writers of America's rookie of the year.
Of course, this isn't the rookie-of-the-year award. That one comes from the Associated Press and will be announced Feb. 2. But the PFW/PFWA honor can be viewed as a gauge as to how voters are thinking.
It's particularly interesting this year, given the expected close race between the trio of stellar rookie quarterbacks. In this case, the most votes went to Griffin, the No. 2 overall draft pick who led the Redskins to their first NFC East title since 1999. In the process, he set rookie records for highest touchdown-to-interception ratio (20 TDs vs. five picks), rushing yards for a quarterback (815) and passer rating (102.4).
Luck, who was drafted No. 1 overall, helped a Colts team that had won just two games the year before earn a wild-card berth into the playoffs. He also set records for most passing yards (4,374) and attempts (627) in a rookie season. But voters may have been scared off by his 18 interceptions and 76.5 passer rating.
Wilson was a third-round draft pick who unexpectedly won the Seahawks' starting job during training camp. He's the only first-year quarterback to win a playoff game this season. And, although Seattle lost this past weekend to Atlanta in the divisional round, Wilson broke a 75-year-old rookie record by passing for 385 yards in a playoff game. His 26 touchdown passes during the regular season tied those of Peyton Manning as most ever by a first-year player.
So while RG3 may have come out on top in this particular poll, it's still anyone's guess who will take the AP honors -- and it's pretty safe to say there will be plenty of guessing during the next couple of weeks.
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