When the Cleveland Browns step into Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday, to face the Indianapolis Colts, both young teams will be desperate for a win. Both teams will be looking for big games from several rookie players. The Colts may find themselves leaning on their rookie class even more than the Browns.
Even though the Browns had two picks in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft, the Colts had more picks overall. Not only did the Colts have the first pick in the first and second round of the draft, they also had the very last pick in the draft. The Colts starting lineup currently consists of no less than five rookies, all of which might have to step up on Sunday, if the Colts want to bounce back from a beat-down against the New York Jets last weekend.
Andrew Luck has done his best to lead this reloaded team back into playoff contention during his first five games as a pro. At times, Luck has looked like the second-coming of Y.A. Tittle, throwing for nearly 1,500 yards in five games, and becoming the team’s second-leading rusher. At other times, Luck has been rushed and running for his life, similar to the Browns’ own former number one overall draft pick, Tim Couch. Luck currently leads the NFL in passing attempts, which isn’t exactly what a team would want from their rookie starting quarterback.
The other rookie offensive weapons will need to step up as well, as the Colts approach the halfway point of the season. Rookie tight ends, Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener are both yet to break out a big game this season. Fleener had 82 yards in a week one loss against the Chicago Bears, but has yet to score. Allen has two scores this season, but has yet to break over 40 receiving yards in a game.
The Indianapolis Colts went very heavy on offense in the 2012 NFL Draft, and will need to see production from those players if they expect to make some noise in the AFC South. Luck, Allen, and Fleener, as well as rookie wide outs Lavon Brazil and T.Y. Hilton will have to begin to gel as a unit, if they expect to stay on pace with a Cleveland Browns team that has been able to put up big numbers, even in losses.