While the outcome was far from decided when the two rookie quarterbacks exited the game early in the third quarter, Griffin’s Washington Redskins pulled away for a 30-17 victory over Luck’s Indianapolis Colts.
Luck, the top selection, had slightly better statistics, completing 14 of 23 passes for 151 yards and a 31-yard scoring strike to rookie receiver T.Y. Hilton. He was sacked twice, though, and had a drive stalled by a penalty.
Griffin had his team leading, 14-7, when each player left the game after one series in the third quarter. The Redskins quarterback completed 11 of 17 passes for 74 yards and a four-yard touchdown to Santana Moss. Although he was under pressure on several attempts, Griffin was not sacked.
The duo is poised to join a few more first-year quarterbacks as opening-game starters. It will be the first time since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970 that more than two rookies will start in openers, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
Luck has connected on 40 of 64 passes for 514 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions in three preseason games. He has a 90.2 passer rating. Griffin has completed 20 of 31 passes for 193 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions, giving him a passer rating of 103.2.
“I haven’t had any overall bad performances for myself. … I thought [Luck] did a good job out there as well,” Griffin said. “They blew this up as a head-to-head [matchup], and we’ll see what happens next.
“It’s not something you can just push away or put aside,” Griffin said. “It’s everywhere. It’s going to be there for our entire careers.”
Luck was a litte hard on himself.
“I’m not happy,” he said. “But I realize a preseason game is a chance to learn.”
On Friday night, rookie quarterback Russell Wilson received his first preseason start in the Seattle Seahawks’ 44-14 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. He passed for 185 yards and two touchdowns in leading the team to scoring drives on six consecutive possessions.
Also Friday, rookie Nick Foles filled in admirably for Michael Vick in the Philadelphia Eagles’ 27-10 victory over the Cleveland Browns by completing 12 of 19 passes for 146 yards and one touchdown. Browns rookie Brandon Wheedon, who is the No. 1 quarterback in camp, was nine-of-20 passing for 117 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions.
One other rookie quarterback starting is Ryan Tannehill, who struggled Friday night in Miami’s 23-6 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. He completed only 11 of 27 passes, though four were dropped including a potential scoring strike, for 112 yards with one interception.
Associated Press and NFL.com contributed to this report.