NFL rookies surprise teams at start of new season
Daniel Gaskin, Staff Writer
September 21, 2012
Filed under Sports
Do yourself a favor. Take a quick smell of the air around you. No, that smell isn’t your roommate’s dirty laundry sitting suspiciously in the corner. That faint smell permeating the air is the odor of blood, sweat and tears, and that can only mean one thing. The NFL is back, and now there is something to do on Sunday besides being forced to enjoy the fall weather that has beset us.
With the new season come new story lines, and perhaps the most interesting one is the return of the most cerebral player in football. Peyton Manning is back and wearing the number 18 jersey, but no longer in blue and white. He is now a Denver Bronco, but switching teams doesn’t change the fact that he is still Peyton Manning.
This past Sunday, the Broncos torched the Steelers in their opening game 31–19. Manning completed 73.1 percent of his passes for 253 yards while throwing two touchdowns and zero interceptions.
“I was not at all surprised by Manning’s excellent performance,” said Associate Professor of Sport Studies Robert Malekoff. “He is one of the all-time greats, and few prepare for an opponent as effectively as he does.”
Manning wasn’t the only big story this week as two of most highly touted rookies in recent memory had their starts last Sunday. The much-talked-about quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III made their debut shocking some people while disappointing others.
“All in all, it was not the greatest debut for four of the NFL’s five rookie quarterbacks — Andrew Luck, Brandon Weeden, Russell Wilson and Ryan Tannehill threw for a combined two touchdowns and 11 interceptions — but virtually nobody noticed,” wrote columnist Pablo S. Torre in last week’s issue of Sports Illustrated. “Why? Robert Griffin III turned in a dazzling debut in his NFL debut, going 19–26 for 320 yards and two touchdowns and leading the Redskins’ 40–32 stunner over the Saints.”
A rookie class has taken over the NFL and history was made as the five rookie quarterbacks started for their franchises this past Sunday.
“This is the most decorated rookie quarterback class the league has seen,” said ESPN analyst Adam Shefter in an article for ESPN.com. “It doesn’t mean these quarterbacks will turn out to be as productive as the class of 1983, which had John Elway, Dan Marino, Jim Kelly, Tony Eason, Todd Blackledge and Ken O’Brien. But it does mean this class is rewriting the rules of how rookie quarterbacks are viewed.”
There were many more story lines this past Sunday, but this article won’t be mentioning those. Instead, follow this advice; get your homework done on Saturday. Don’t make plans with your friends or significant other on Sunday, and get ready to watch something that provides more drama than any TV show, more reality than any contest, and more entertainment then the greatest concert ever.
It’s the NFL and it’s back in full swing.