This was Rodgers's second concussion of the 2010 season, and it forced him to sit out the next week's game. He has since learned, it seems, that it makes more sense for him and the Packers to sacrifice a few yards for his short-term and long-term health. Perhaps RG3 could learn the same lesson by sitting out the Redskins' game this coming Sunday against the Vikings.


In the Packers-Colts game, Rodgers's legs weren't enough, as Andrew Luck outslung him, completing 31-of-55 passes for 362 yards. Luck's four-minute drill on Sunday was Manning-esque, down to his heavy reliance on Reggie Wayne. On NBC's Football Night in America, Peyton's ex-coach Tony Dungy was effusive. "He is going to be a special quarterback," the former Colts coach said. "He's going to lead these guys to a championship."

As recently as January, Dungy had said he would take RG3 with the No. 1 pick because of Griffin III's "extra dimension." That sort of analysis underrates both Luck's own running ability and Griffin's abilities as a passer.


But before we start measuring Luck for rings and consign RG3 to the mobile quarterback trash heap, let's remember that the two men have won the exact same number of NFL games and outdueled the same number of great quarterbacks. Meanwhile, the stats are on Griffin's side. RG3 is first in the league with a 69.1 completion percentage; Luck is 32nd at 54.2 percent. RG3 is second in yards per pass attempt, while Luck is 24th. RG3's quarterback rating is a sterling 101.0, fifth behind Alex Smith, Matt Ryan, Tom Brady, and Peyton Manning. Luck's is a sad 77.1, placing him 25th in the league.

The one stat where RG3 loses out to Luck is ESPN's new, analytically advanced Total Quarterback Rating. Total QBR, which measures a quarterback's "clutchness" as well as how he performs relative to the rest of his team, has Luck as the fourth-best quarterback in the league and RG3 ranked 11th. Why does Total QBR love luck? Though he's in the middle of the pack (and below Griffin) as a passer, ESPN's new-fangled stat says Luck-not RG3 or Cam Newton or Michael Vick-is the league's most-effective running quarterback.


For NFL quarterbacks, the "extra dimension" isn't speed. It's the ability to tuck the ball and run without getting hurt. So far, Andrew Luck has shown the ruggedness to survive being hit while rushing the ball, and Robert Griffin III has not. Both rookies are good enough throwers to succeed regardless of how many yards they gain on the ground. Luck might be able to supplement his passing with hard-nosed running, but RG3 can't. The Redskins quarterback has shown the boldness and skill to do dazzling things. If he wants to succeed, like Aaron Rodgers, he has to learn not to do some of them.

Jeremy Stahl is Slate's social media editor. Before joining Slate, he worked as a sports editor at Yahoo U.K. in London and as a contributor for the Riviera Times in Nice, France.