Comparing Potential Seahawks Backup Quarterbacks Kap and RG3

Jan 1, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) throws a pass during the first quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 1, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) throws a pass during the first quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports /

Many 12s have voiced their concern over either Colin Kaepernick or Robert Griffin III joining the Seahawks, even as a back up. It helps to have the facts at hand, rather than some hazy half-remembered images from three or four years ago. So let’s look at what each might bring to the Seahawks.

First let’s examine RG3’s record. On the field, Griffin exploded onto the scene, as he won the Offensive Rookie of the Year and set the record for highest passer rating by a rookie. He even led the Washington Redskins to their first playoff berth in five years.

Sadly for Griffin, that was easily the high point of his career. He was plagued by injuries, such as ACL and LCL tears, a dislocated ankle, and most pointedly a concussion that cost him his entire 2015 season. Let’s look at the stat line for Griffin.

Griffin by the numbers


Head to head for Kap and RG3

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We’ll start with their best season. Griffin looks good here. He should, it’s his only season that was better than average. He finished third in passer rating at 102.4, and 7th in QBR at 70.7. The Seahawks own Russell Wilson? Right behind Griffin in passer rating at 100.0, and ahead of him in QBR at 77.2, good for third in the league. Kaepernick didn’t qualify as he missed several games and only had 218 attempts. While he was in, he was good. His passer rating was 98.3, his QBR was 76.9.

Kaepernick’s best season is statistically close to Griffin. Passer rating five points below Griffin, QBR six points ahead. In their second best seasons, Kaepernick was markedly better than Griffin.

In his second-best season as measured by passer rating (2014), Griffin had an 86.9 passer rating. Had he qualified, he would have placed 20th of 37 qualifiers. Russell Wilson was 10th, by the way, at 95.0. Kaepernick ranked 20th that same year at 86.4, and would have been 21st right behind Griffin.

If you prefer QBR, Griffin fares worse, ranking 23rd of 37 qualifiers at 53.7 in 2013. Russell Wilson was 7th at 70.4, while Kaepernick finished 9th with a QBR of 69.7.

It’s those other seasons where Kaepernick really pulls ahead. A look at Kap’s stats:

Kaepernick by the numbers


Kaepernick’s worst season really sticks out. 6 touchdowns versus 5 interceptions tends to call attention, after all. It was a bad season, alright, bad enough to get Blaine Gabbert under center. As bad as it was, his passer rating beat Griffin’s by six points. That 46.5 QBR is ugly, but Griffin posted two seasons even worse, including a nasty 31.2. At least it was better than Blake Bortles, right?

Their career passer ratings are practically even, Kaepernick at 88.9, Griffin at 88.2. Let’s look deeper, though. Kap’s career TDs and INTS: 72 and 30. RG3: 42 and 26. In their last three seasons, Kap’s TD to INT numbers are 41 to 19, including his excellent 16 to 4 ratio on last year’s awful 49er team. RG3 in his last three years put up 22 TD to 21 INT.

Do the Seahawks have concerns off the field?

There are few, if any concerns at all at CenturyLink Field over what many would term “off-field” issues. Seahawk Michael Bennett made that very clear today. Many of the Seahawks literally reached across the field last season in support of Kaepernick, of course. If there is any doubt at all that Seattle isn’t worried about Kap’s image, see what Pete Carroll said just yesterday.

As for RG3, he had a reputation for throwing teammates under the bus, possibly being that worst of all offenders, the locker room cancer. Does anyone on the planet think any of that would fly among the Seahawks, even if Griffin was the starter? And as a backup, it’s laughable. There is no way the Seahawks would have issues with either of these players. Other than fitting them under the cap, that is.