As it's Colts week, along with posters fretting what might happen to our HC if we have a sub 6 win season, to go along with the many knee-jerker's after RGIII's first iffy outing (he's a ROOKIE. Go figure); I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the trends through the rookie season of a man I consider to stand parallel alongside ANY GOAT, Peyton Manning. And given Andrew Luck was Universally acclaimed to be the best collegiate QB since #18, and many on here think Robert has an even higher ceiling than Luck; it seemed a topical and interesting comparison to look into.
Peyton's debut season, back in '98, ended with the Colts finishing last in the division at 3-13. He had arguably a better offense than ours, with all time greats Marshall Faulk and Marvin Harrison in their 5th and 3rd years respectively giving him top notch weapons, alongside a career solid TE safety net in Marcus Pollard in his 4th year. Throw in second year LT Tarik Glenn, who was one of the leagues best through his 10 year pro career, and a stronger veteran line than our current mish-mash effort; and he was in a better overall situation than what Robert currently finds himself in. The Colts through that 13 game losing season averaged 19.4 pts. per game on offense.
Peyton's individual numbers finished thus:
16 games started.
575 passing attempts/ 326 completions- 56.7 % completion %.
3,739 passing yards- 234 average per game.
71.2 QB rating.
I personally wouldn't be surprised to see Robert have a stat line somewhat similar to that this year, all things considered. (I can hear the thudding hearts of many at the thought of 20 plus INT's as I type. ). And when you break down the season, and how one of the all time greats, which we all hope RGIII will join when alls said and done; started out and improved as he learnt; there's more interesting potential comparisons as to how this year might well go. And folk learning to NOT panic through it all.
The first five games of Peyton's rookie season, the Colts went 1-4. (L 15-24 Dolphins/ L 6-29 @ Rams/ L 6-44 @ Jets/ L 13-19 Saints/ First win in game 5 17-14 vs Bills); with the O averaging 11.4 points per game.
Peyton's passing #'s:
169 attempts/ 93 completions- 55% completion %.
1,129 yards- 226 yards average per game.
A VERY rocky start for the Colts and their lorded superstar saviour. (Don't we now have one of those thingies?).
The next five games, the results didn't improve, but the numbers did.
The Colts again went 1-4 through the second third of the year. (L 24-31 Bills/ L 31-38 @ '9ers/ L16-21 Patriots/ L14-27 @ Miami/ W 24-23 vs. Jets.). But the offense upped the points per game by over 10 to 21.4. With three games of 24 points our more, and one over 30. As opposed to a 17 point high the first 5 games.
The rookies #'s also started to improve as he learned and grew:
199 attempts/ 116 completions- 58.3 % completion %. (Up 3.3 %.).
1,160 yards (Up 31 yards)- 232 yards average per game. (Up 6 per game.).
11 TD. (Up 8) + 2 passing PAT.
8 INT. (Down 4.).
2 Sacks. (Down 9.).
Quite a difference from the first 5 games all round.
The third part of the Colts 1998 season was again, like the first 2, a 1-4 span. (L 11-34 Bills/ L 31-38 @ Ravens/ L 21-28 @ Falcons/ W 39-26 vs Bengals/ L 23-27 @ Seahawks.). But again, the Colts offense upped the points per game ratio by over 3 to 25, with 2 more 30 plus games.
Manning's passing #'s began to stabilize out the more experience he got at the pro level:
164 attempts/ 100 completions- 61 % completion %. (Up 2.7 %.).
1,225 yards (Up 65 yards)- 245 yards per game average. (Up 13 yards per game.).
10 TD. (Down 1) + 2 passing PAT.
6 INT. (Down 2.).
4 Sacks. (Up 2.).
For the record, the Colts final game that season ended in a 19-27 home loss to the Panthers. Peyton's numbers: 17/34; 225 yrds; 1 TD; 2 INT; 5 Sacks.
Now the point of all that, aside from personal curiosity in looking at how exactly one of the GOAT started out (and relevant equation as regards Luck and RG3, and what people think of both); was to to try settle people down to NOT overreact if, as is more than likely; both the team and Robert struggle heavily at times this year.
Griff may carry all our hopes and dreams. But he is, when all said and done, a ROOKIE! And he's been as inconsistent and at times down right awful in camp and practice by all accounts like you'd expect a rookie QB to be. I personally fully expect his season to mirror Peyton's rookie year, save for 2 or 3 more (fingers crossed) wins. To start out REAL slow, and make a slew of mistakes as he learns and grows; through steady improvement as the year rolls on.
But the key for EVERYONE is NOT to panic!
We know what we have here. Just like the Colts knew what they had when they drafted the Vol 14 years ago. And IMHO, God willing we'll have a guy to stand comparison to Peyton when all's said and done.
Just give him time to fulfil that promise. And don't hurl yourselves off the ledge if it's not all roses this year for him or the team. This is about continuing to build for 2013/ 14 and beyond and a competitive, year-on-year Washington Redskins going forward. W's aren't at the top of our list of priorities right now, as nice as they are.
Oh, for the record, the year after that 3-13 rookie year ..... the Colts went 13- 3 and won the division, with Manning going to his first pro-bowl as AFC player of the year.
As my mom so knowledgeably used to tell me when I was a 'want it all, and want it NOW!' lil' brat at times:
Patience is a virtue.
Redskin Nation, the time to heed that virtue is now.
*Edit* I never bothered including Peyton's rushing stats, as there really is no comparison between the two guys in that regard.