There were a few fireworks at FedEx Field on Saturday afternoon, but not as many as may have been expected. With all the hype around the first-ever meeting between Andrew Luck’s reloaded Indianapolis Colts and the Robert Griffin III-led Washington Redskins, it felt more like a playoff game than a preseason game.
Neither quarterback exploded while on the field, but both looked good, playing with stability and few mistakes. Griffin was unleashed early and often, taking three deep pass attempts in the first half of the game. None of his long bombs were completions, but Griffin ended the day with a well-rounded stat line of 11-17 for 74 yards and a touchdown.
Luck wasn’t able to open the floodgates too often, and chose rather to use most of his passing attempts on short slant routes. His one deep shot ended up being the play of the day for the Colts. On third-and-seven, Luck launched a perfect 31-yard sideline pass to rookie wide out T.Y. Hilton, resulting in the team’s first score. Luck ended the day with a serviceable outing, going 14-23 for 151 yards and the one score. Neither quarterback played past the first series in the second half.
The stars of the day were the Redskins’ running backs. Washington took to the ground attack early and often, racking up over 100 yards in the first half alone. The Colts’ offensive line and defense didn’t seem very in sync for much of the game. The defense was getting gashed a lot early in the game, and the offensive line was not giving Luck much time to work with. The young quarterback was on the move for much of the first half, as the Redskins defense brought pressure to the line and hugged tight on the Colts receivers. With much work yet to be done, it may have been beneficial to let this newly-formed first-string offense get a bit more game time to gel. Still, with Luck being under fire constantly by the Redskins, he may have not lasted much longer without getting banged-up.
This game was just a small sample size of what to expect from these two rookie quarterbacks, but if their poise in the preseason is any indication, then both of these top draft picks will continue to grow and prosper (and be compared to one another) for a long time to come.