(Adam Hunger/Reuters)

Like Peyton Manning and Ryan Leaf — and to a much lesser extent Tim Couch and Donovan McNabb — before them, Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III’s individual careers were forever linked when the Colts and Redskins made them the No. 1 and No. 2 picks, respectively, in the 2012 NFL draft.

When the Redskins hosted the Colts at FedEx Field in the 2012 preseason, the Redskins sold T-shirts touting the Griffin-Luck QB Showdown. After Griffin and Luck finished 1-2 in the 2012 offensive rookie of the year voting, it wasn’t far-fetched to believe that their intertwined careers and individual rivalry would be more like Manning-Brady than Manning-Leaf. With the Redskins prepared to visit the Colts on Sunday for QB Showdown II, that’s obviously no longer the case.

During an episode of “Table Manners” earlier this year, The Junkies asked Bruce Allen, the Redskins’ president and general manager, for his thoughts on Luck and Griffin headed into the 2012 draft. Allen insisted that he liked — and graded — both quarterbacks equally.

“At the end of the ’11 season, we really worked hard in the personnel department to document every throw that both Robert and Andrew Luck had made,” Allen said. “Every incompletion, every fumble they had, dissect everything. When we made the trade, when we were offering — first of all, we also talked to the Colts, because our first thing was, let’s get to No. 1. There was no way they were trading the pick. We got to No. 2, we don’t know which quarterback we’re getting. … All we knew, we’re going to take either one. I loved them both. I had a man crush on both of them.”

It’s a painful exercise to wonder how the Redskins’ fortunes would be different had the Colts drafted Griffin instead of Luck, or, for that matter, had Griffin remained healthy. One would assume Washington would be better with Luck under center, but just how much better?

PredictionMachine.com ran the numbers. If Luck and Griffin switched teams for Sunday’s game, the Redskins, who are currently 10-point underdogs, would be 59 percent likely to win. And over a full season? Avert your eyes.

“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.”

Like I said, it’s a painful exercise — almost as painful as the idea of doing the same analysis with Griffin and Colt McCoy.


(Alex Brandon/AP)

Thanks to For The Win for sharing.