Analyzing offensive ROY race

Is Andrew Luck the front-runner over RG3 and Doug Martin?

Originally Published: November 5, 2012
By Vince Verhei | Football Outsiders
Andrew LuckGregory Shamus/Getty ImagesThe focus has been on Andrew Luck this season. He is living up to the hype.

It was only two months ago that Robert Griffin III made a grand entrance to the NFL, torching the New Orleans Saints for 320 yards passing and two touchdowns while completing 73 percent of his passes. In one game, the No. 2 pick in April's draft became the No. 1 rookie on everyone's mind, and he did little to change that over the next several weeks. In Weeks 6 and 7, the Washington Redskins passer put up a combined 667 yards of offense (passing and rushing) against the Minnesota Vikings and New York Giants, and he seemed destined to win the rookie of the year award.

Yesterday, all that changed.

As Griffin underwhelmed in a loss to Carolina, two other rookies made history in wins. Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck set a rookie record with 433 passing yards against Miami, while running back Doug Martin set a Tampa Bay franchise record with 251 yards rushing. Halfway through the 2012 season, the race for offensive rookie of the year seems wide open, but a closer look reveals a clear pecking order.

It's fairly simple to compare Griffin to Luck because they both play the same position. Griffin's raw stats (65.6 percent completion rate, 7.6 yards per attempt, eight touchdowns, three interceptions) are clearly superior to Luck's (56.5 percent, 7.2 ypa, 10 TDs, 8 INTs), but when Football Outsiders' passing rankings are updated Tuesday afternoon, you'll find Luck's name above Griffin's by a significant margin. That's largely because Luck has thrown a lot of deep passes, while Griffin has mostly thrown small stuff.