Oct. 21, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) is congratulated by Colts tight ends Dwayne Allen (83) and Coby Fleener (80) after scoring a touchdown during the first quarter. Mandatory Credit: Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports.
The ‘sophomore slump’, talked about by panicking fans on Sunday afternoon, is oft used to validate their trust in an underperforming star. If they pan out in year two, a quiet sigh of relief can be heard right before “I never had any doubt.” If they throw a few interceptions, fumble, and end up injured in week five, fantasy football gurus can be heard muttering curses under their breath as they refresh ESPN’s homepage every twenty seconds. Never swing on the first pitch goes by the same logic as never bet on the second year wideout, all the more infuriating when it turns out to be true.
The Colts face a unique debacle this year, as five of their first seven draft picks saw extensive time on the field last year; while only Andrew Luck played every snap, T.Y. Hilton and Vick Ballard stepped up in a big way when required, and Dwayne Allen became the most reliable player on their offense. That, like waking up to the smell of bacon, is the good news.
Then comes the inevitable paranoia. What if Andrew Luck collapses under the pressure? What if Dwayne Allen loses focus? Where did that suddenly prevalent burning smell come from? With that in mind, here are – in one writer’s mind – the best and worst case scenarios for each of those five sophomores, along with their primary focus and expected outcome.