LANDOVER, Md. – Robert Griffin III was the last player announced during pregame ceremonies. He emerged from the tunnel, through the large inflatable Washington Redskins football helmet and onto the field, raising both arms to pump up a crowd eager for his first head-to-head matchup with Andrew Luck.
Like everything else about the rookie, Griffin was doing something new – but looking as if hed done it before.
Ive never had my own introduction ever, high school or college, so that was extremely fun with the smoke and everything, Griffin said. It was like youre in a movie.
In many ways, Saturdays game was promoted like a movie opening, the curtain raiser for a budding quarterback rivalry between the Nos. 1 and 2 picks in the draft. The co-stars responded with a display of A-list poise and promise as Griffins Redskins defeated Lucks Indianapolis Colts 30-17.
Top pick Luck completed 14 of 23 passes for 151 yards and a touchdown to fellow rookie T.Y. Hilton. Heisman Trophy winner Griffin went 11 for 17 for 74 yards and a scoring throw to veteran Santana Moss.
Both quarterbacks played one series into the third quarter in the teams dress rehearsal for the regular season, with the Redskins ahead 14-7 when the subs took over.
I havent had any overall bad performances for myself. ... I thought he did a good job out there as well, Griffin said. They blew this up as a head-to-head, and well see what happens next.
Barring an incredible pair of Super Bowl runs from two teams rebuilding from bad seasons, the first Luck-RGIII encounter that really counts wont come until the 2014 regular season.
Still, the comparisons will continue.
Its not something you can just push away or put aside, Griffin said. Its everywhere. Its going to be there for our entire careers.
While Griffin gave himself good marks for his performance, Luck was more downcast despite putting up decent numbers.
Im not happy, Luck said. But I realize a preseason game is a chance to learn.
Lucks touchdown was an impressive moment. He stepped up in the pocket to avoid the rush, then put a deep ball down the left side into the arms of third-round pick Hilton for a 31-yard touchdown.
Griffin responded on the next drive, finding Moss for a 4-yard score.
The game got predictably messy after Luck and Griffin departed. Seventh-round pick Chandler Harnish, a Norwell graduate, was whistled for delay of game on his first Colts series, then was tackled for a safety by linebacker Chris Wilson on the next play. Harnish finished 12 of 19 for 147 yards and no touchdowns or interceptions.
Notes: NT Brandon McKinney (knee) and CB Jerraud Powers (knee) will have MRIs today. CB Korey Lindsey and WR Jabin Sambrano took shots to the heads and will be evaluated. WR Griff Whalen was on crutches after aggravating a left foot injury; he will also have an MRI. Hilton left the game with a shoulder injury.