Will Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin suffer the “Sophomore Slump”?

It just seems like as soon as someone comes out a top flight player in their rookie year, that they go through the infamous "Sophomore Slump", a significantly disapointing second season that leaves fans wondering who the real player really is? The greatness that was the rookie season, or the disapointment that was season 2, and thus the name of the effect…"Sophomore" slump. You can probably take up the odds at some best online sports book to find out if fans think Bucs running back Doug Martin will fall, or take, OFF!

Well the answer may be disapointing if Martin does fall off, because for the most part, true great NFL players DO NOT HAVE SOPHOMORE SLUMPS! That's right, look back at all the greats, and you wont hear anyone talking about a slump with them.

Barry Sanders, Emmitt Smith? Nope, no sophomore slump. Marshal Faulk, Walter Payton? Nadda.

Walter Payton had 679 yards in his rookie 1977 season, then proceeded to run for 1390 in 1978. For good measure, he took off with 1852. That is greatness, as well as sweetness.

Barry Sanders came out of the gate with 1470 yards in 1989, and did drop off in his second year, if you want to call 1304 yards dropping off! If that,s a slump….Bucs fans will sign up for that tomorrow! His Touchdown production increased though from 14 to 16.          

Emmitt Smith 937, 1563, 1713

Marshall Faulk  1282, 1078 with 11 TD in both

The great ones just do not drop off, and that is not found only in running backs, Quarterbacks too!

Peyton Manning threw for 3739 in his rookie season, and topped 4135 his second, with 26 TDs in both.

Two QBs who did not really start their rookie years show what happens to great ones when their first great years happen after year #1. 

Tom Brady 2843, 3764; 18 to 28 TDs

Brett Favre 3227, 3303   18 to 19 TDs

How about Wide Receivers? Two of the best in recent years, show that you fall off if your elite.

Jerry Rice  927, 1570

Randy Moss 1313, 1413

So what have we learned? Michael Clayton was not an elite NFL player! 

Of course nothing is written in stone, and anything is possible. But history has shown, that the Sophomore Slump is not something the best of the best lose any sleep over.                                                                                                              


About Nick

Fanatical Bucs follower since the 1979 season- and proud owner of over 650 Tampa Bay Buccaneers games on DVD going back to 1977. Blogger and historian for all things Bucs.