No rookie had a more bizarre Week Three than Seahawks QB Russell Wilson, whose Hail Mary heave that was ruled a touchdown has set off an absolute firestorm.
Wilson, who only threw for 130 yards, made the most of the few opportunities the Packers gave him. Two of his 10 completions went for touchdowns, including the disputed game-winner. Wilson didn’t throw a pick, helping allow for Seattle to pull off the stunner at home.
The third-rounder was considered the least likely rookie QB to start entering the season, but his preseason performance gave him the job over the high-paid veteran Matt Flynn. Wilson hasn’t put up the same numbers as the other rookie QBs — he’s last in most passing categories — but has thrown only one pick, has a passer rating of 86.2 and, most importantly, his team is now 2-1.
This week’s Rookie Meter shoutout goes to Vikings PK Blair Walsh, who hit a 52-yard field goal in Minnesota’s upset win over the 49ers. He is the first kicker in franchise history to have three straight games with a field goal of at least 50 yards.
Now, onto the Week Three Rookie Meter.
1. Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (first round, second overall)
Last week’s ranking: 1
In a high-scoring loss to the Bengals, RG3 completed 21-of-34 passes for 221 yards and one touchdown, good for a passer rating of 90.4. He had 12 rushes for 85 yards and a touchdown, averaging 7.1 yards a carry. Griffin was sacked six times. Through three games, he leads rookie QBs by a wide margin in both completion percentage (67.4) and passer rating (103.5).
2. Colts QB Andrew Luck (1, 1)
Last week’s ranking: 2
Luck completed 22-of-46 passes for 313 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He added four carries for 50 yards, but could not rally the Colts back again, with his endzone heave falling incomplete in a loss to the Jags. Luck leads all rookie QBs in passing yards.
3. Redskins RB Alfred Morris (6, 173)
Last week’s ranking: 7
Morris had 78 yards rushing on 17 carries (4.6-yard average) and a touchdown in Washington’s loss. He is the rookie leader in rushing yards through three games.
4. Buccaneers RB Doug Martin (1, 31)
Last week’s ranking: 3
Martin rushed 19 times for 53 yards and had two catches for 21 yards on three targets in the Bucs’ loss to the Cowboys.
5. Browns RB Trent Richardson (1, 3)
Last week’s ranking: 4
Richardson remains hot-and-cold. The Bills held him to 27 yards on 12 carries. He had one rushing touchdown and did lead the Browns with six catches on seven targets, though he only gained 24 yards receiving.
6. Patriots DE Chandler Jones (1, 21)
Last week’s ranking: 5
Jones had two tackles and was unable to record a QB hit, though he did appear to get held on a couple plays by Ravens OT Michael Oher. Jones was on the field for 89 percent of the Patriots’ defensive snaps.
7. Buccaneers SS Mark Barron (1, 7)
Last week’s ranking: 6
Barron had six tackles and a pass defensed in the Bucs’ loss to the Cowboys. He is tied for fourth among rookies with 19 tackles and has five passes defensed in three games.
8. Panthers LB Luke Kuechly (1, 9)
Last week’s ranking: 8
Kuechly did notch 12 tackles, three for a loss, and a pass defensed in last Thursday night’s loss to the Giants, but he also had some rookie struggles and overran some plays. Kuechly is tied for second among rookies in tackles.
9. Vikings OLT Matt Kalil (1, 4)
Last week’s ranking: NR
It’s time to give a hog up front some love. According to Stats Inc., Kalil has not been flagged for a false start or a holding penalty this season. He has given up two sacks and helped keep the 49ers’ impressive front from causing too many problems in Minnesota’s upset win.
10. Titans WR Kendall Wright (1, 20)
Last week’s ranking: NR
Wright leads all rookies with 14 receptions on the season. He had seven catches for 41 yards on 11 targets in the Titans’ win on Sunday, though he did lose a fumble.
On the cusp (in alphabetical order):
Eagles DT Fletcher Cox (1, 12)
Patriots LB Dont’a Hightower (1, 25)
Seahawks DE Bruce Irvin (1, 15)
Bears WR Alshon Jeffery (2, 45)
Rams CB Janoris Jenkins (2, 39)
Eagles LB Mychal Kendricks (2, 46)
Vikings S Harrison Smith (1, 29)
Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill (1, 8)
Browns QB Brandon Weeden (1, 22)
Seahawks QB Russell Wilson (3, 75)