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Redskins' RG3 on pace to have best rookie season ever for a quarterback

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Cheers and Jeers,Sports,NFL,Redskins,Kevin Dunleavy

Robert Griffin III is having a historic rookie season as quarterback of the Redskins. Project his numbers over an entire season, and this is how Griffin would finish the year: 301 completions, 429 attempts, 3,581 yards, 13 touchdowns and five interceptions.

Griffin's completion percentage (70.2) would be by far the highest for a rookie in history. His passer rating (100.5) would be the best by a rookie since the NFL merger in 1970.

If there's any argument about his passing numbers, there is none about his projected rushing stats: 1,011 yards, 16 touchdowns, 6.9 yards per carry -- by far the best ever.

With the threat of injury and the likelihood of defenses figuring out the Redskins' offense, Griffin's numbers could tail off. But it's also likely that he will become better this year as he learns his craft.

How does Griffin stack up against the best rookie quarterbacks in NFL history? Here are the standard bearers to whom he will be compared:

Cam Newton (2011) » He threw for the most yards by a rookie (4,051) but averaged 7.8 yards per attempt compared with Griffin's 8.3. Newton's passer rating (84.5) also comes up short. He had 706 yards rushing and 14 touchdowns, numbers Griffin will pass at his current rate.

Dan Marino (1983) » He went 7-2 as the starter and compiled amazingly efficient numbers: 20 touchdowns, six interceptions, 7.5 yards per attempt and a 96.0 rating. Those rival the projected stats of Griffin. But he also played for a team coming off a Super Bowl appearance.

Ben Roethlisberger (2004) » Like Marino, he joined a Super Bowl-ready team, going 13-0 as starter and throwing 17 touchdowns and 11 picks. He completed 66.4 percent of his passes and had a 98.1 passer rating to set modern rookie records, but Griffin is on pace to exceed both.

Matt Ryan (2008) » He lifted Atlanta from 4-12 to 11-5 and a playoff berth, throwing for 3,440 yards, 16 touchdowns and 11 interceptions with a rating of 87.7.

Otto Graham (1946) » He's often left out of the discussion of great rookie quarterbacks, but consider the following: In a less-friendly passing era, he started nine games for the NFL champion Browns, going 95-for-174 for 1,834 yards, 17 touchdowns and five interceptions. His 10.5 yards per attempt and 112.1 passer rating remain unchallenged by a rookie since.

- Kevin Dunleavy

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