With the Super Bowl around the corner, this 2011-12 NFL season is coming to a close. Every season, things just don’t work out the way you want them to and in the end, only two teams can compete for a Super Bowl. Let’s look at some of this season’s biggest disappointments.
Honorable Mentions: RB Peyton Hillis (CLE) and RB Chris Johnson (TEN)
7) QB Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Buffalo Bills
All I can do is laugh at the Buffalo Bills. They started the season going 3-0, including a win over Tom Brady, and all of a sudden were receiving hype. The Bills were the talk of ESPN and almost every other huge sports network at the time. But what they didn’t know that this is the Buffalo Bills we are talking about. I mean, the team hasn’t been competitive in years and after a couple big wins they had them in the playoff discussion? Please. Giving Ryan Fitzpatrick a huge contract extension was one of the biggest decisions they could have made. The guy fluttered toward the end of the season and once again, the Bills finished last in their division.
6) QB Josh Freeman and theTampa Bay Buccaneers
Many of us, including me, thought the Bucs would really push for Wild Card spot after last season’s impressive finish. But what do you know? The entire team took two huge steps backwards. They weren’t even competitive in some games losing 48-3 to San Fran and 37-9 to Houston. This is really disappointing for a team that was expecting to make a playoff run. Josh Freeman showed a sophomore slump as he threw 22 interceptions compared to last season’s six. Can’t win like that.
5) QB Sam Bradford and the St. Louis Rams
Talk about a sophomore slump; just take a look at Sam Bradford. I’m not sure what happened, but he definitely didn’t look like the same quarterback from last season. His completion percentage (53.5%) was almost as bad as Tim Tebow’s. Bradford simply didn’t look comfortable all season. He struggled with a lot of simple throws and just couldn’t seem to find the end zone (granted he didn’t have much to work with). Now that the Jim Fisher era is beginning in St. Louis, let’s hope Bradford can get back to his usual self.
4) New York Jets
I really can’t wait to see what’s going to happen to the Jets this offseason. Their season finished in a complete disaster, losing their final three games to miss out on the playoffs. Usually when Rex Ryan is faced with must win games to make the playoffs, the Jets usually find a way to win, but it was different this season. Nothing seemed to click. The defense wasn’t the same, allowing teams to run all over them. The offense didn’t help either as the Mark Sanchez to Santonio Holmes connection might come to an end.
3) Norv Turner and San Diego Chargers
Someone please tell me how Norv still has a job? The fact that this team missed the playoffs and allowed Tebow to win their division is completely unacceptable. Norv has proven that he isn’t the guy that’s going to get this team over the hump. The Chargers just didn’t look ready to play. Philip Rivers definitely didn’t help, having his worst season of his career. I really think it’s about time for a makeover.
2) WR Chad Ochocinco and DT Albert Haynesworth
I remember when I heard the news that the New England Patriots had acquired Chad Ochocinco and Albert Haynesworth, I was thinking Super Bowl. Indeed, the Patriots have reached the Super Bowl, but it was no thanks to Ochocinco or Albert. Albert didn’t even last the season, as he got cut midway thru. Ochocinco, on the other hand, can’t even get on the field. It just shows how much more complex the New England offense is compared to Cincinnati’s. Even though Chad hasn’t had impact on the team as he had hoped, I’ll give him credit for being a team player and not crying about it.
1) Philadelphia “Dream Team” Eagles
Well the “Dream Team” was a no show this season and it proves that you can’t just buy a team. The Eagles lacked the team-continuity early in the season and it was too big of a hurdle to overcome. They went from being Super Bowl favorites to nearly getting Andy Reid fired. My favorite highlight of their season was when scrub quarterback Vince Young threw a pick six against the Seattle Seahawks in what was one of the worst passes I have ever seen.
Note: I didn’t include the Indianapolis Colts because I expected them to do nothing without Peyton Manning.