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    Luck for RG3 (11/24/14)

    By John Ewing Director of Research and Analytics @johnewing
    Trading places: Luck for RG3. How would such a switch impact the Colts and Redskins?



    The first matchup between Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III comes nearly three years after the two quarterbacks were taken with the first and second overall picks in the 2012 NFL Draft.

    Both quarterbacks were drafted with the hope that they could revitalize once proud franchises. The Colts were coming off a 2-14 campaign and would start a new era without Peyton Manning. The Redskins had gone 5-11 the previous year for a fourth consecutive last-place finish in the NFC East.

    The first season for both quarterbacks was a great success. Luck led the Colts to an 11-win season and a Wild Card berth. Griffin took the Redskins from worst to first as Washington won the NFC East after starting the season 3-6.

    From there the star quarterbacks' paths have diverged.

    Luck is 30-16 as a starter, has led the Colts to the playoffs in each of his first two seasons and has Indianapolis in the driver's seat for a second consecutive AFC South division title.

    RG3 suffered a knee injury in his first playoff game. Griffin was able to recover from the surgery in time to start the 2013 season, but Washington went 3-8 before he was benched for the remainder of the season.

    A new head coach, a new offensive system and a healthy RG3 were supposed to be the keys to a playoff run for the Redskins in 2014. However, Griffin injured his ankle in Week 1, costing the quarterback seven starts. Griffin has since started Washington's last three games; all loses, leading to speculation that he could once again be benched.

    With Luck the franchise quarterback we all imagined and Griffin mired in controversy, what would this week's game and this season look like if the Colts had drafted RG3 with the first pick in the 2012 NFL Draft?

    The Indianapolis Colts are 9.5 point favorites at home over the Washington Redskins. The money-line, Indianapolis -485, implies that a bettor would need to have greater than 83 percent confidence in the Colts to win in order to feel comfortable placing a wager.

    After 50,000 simulations, with Luck on Washington and Grillin III starting for Indianapolis, the Redskins would be 59 percent likely to win with an average projected score of 32-28.

    Andrew Luck is so far ahead of Robert Griffin III at this point in their careers that he would make a heavy underdog the projected favorite on the road.

    Over a full season, Luck is even more valuable.

    If Luck were the starter all season in Washington, the Redskins would be projected to win the NFC East with a 10-6 record. Indianapolis, with RG3 would finish second in the AFC South behind Houston with a projected 7.5 wins.

    Luck would be projected to throw for 4,529 yards, 34 touchdowns and 16 interceptions in Jay Gruden's offense. RG3, assuming a full healthy season, would be projected to throw for 2,994 yards, 20 touchdowns and nine interceptions as a Colt.

    Indianapolis could have drafted Robert Griffin III No. 1 overall in 2012 but instead, the Colts took Andrew Luck. There never really was any doubt that Indy would take Luck with the first pick and two years later there is no doubt the Colts would make the same decision again.
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