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The NFL's 10 most disappointing teams of 2010

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Concudan, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. Concudan

    Concudan Meh... Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 5, 2006
    The NFL's 10 most disappointing teams of 2010

    Feb. 8, 2011

    It's too soon to tell just yet but in all likelihood the Green Bay Packers' Super Bowl triumph will go down in the annals as a true underdog story and a tale of perseverance.

    The Packers overcame a league-high 15 players on injured reserve, seven of whom started at least one game, as well as two regular-season concussions to Aaron Rodgers to sneak into the six seed in the NFC.

    Once in the playoffs, Green Bay went on a barnstorming tour of road games, knocking off the conference's top three seeds before defeating Pittsburgh in front of a Steelers-heavy crowd in Sunday's Super Bowl.

    But while Green Bay thrived in spite of tough circumstance, plenty of other teams floundered in the face of expectations. With the 2010-2011 season officially in the books, it's time to evaluate the NFL's 10 most disappointing teams.

    10. Cardinals — This isn’t a ranking born out of failure to meet expectations, because very few people expected much out of Arizona to begin with. Instead, the Cardinals find themselves on this distinguished list because of Ken Whisenhunt’s epic bungling of his quarterback situation.

    Whisenhunt let personal feelings get in the way of football and chose to jettison Matt Leinart, the player who had the best grasp on the offense, in favor of veteran retread Derek Anderson. When Anderson bombed, to the surprise of absolutely nobody, Whisenhunt then integrated rookies Max Hall and John Skelton, both of whom also failed to impress.

    All told, the three combined to complete 268 of 531 passes (50.4%) and toss 10 touchdowns to 18 interceptions as the engine behind the league’s 31st-ranked passing offense. If that doesn’t qualify as disappointing, nothing will.

    9. Dolphins — Two points to anyone who could explain how Miami managed to go 1-7 home but 6-2 on the road. While that distinction could leave NFL observers scratching their heads for decades, Chad Henne’s mediocre season (15 TDs to 19 INTs) shouldn’t to anyone who watched him gag away big game after big game throughout his collegiate career.

    Expected to challenge for a playoff berth with the addition of Brandon Marshall, Miami instead finished 7-9 — the same mark as 2009.

    8. Bengals — Last season, the Bengals were one of the league’s foremost surprises as a rejuvenated Cedric Benson powered the NFL’s ninth-ranked rushing offense to a 10-6 and a division championship.

    What a difference a year makes. Benson stumbled his way to 3.5 yards per carry as the Bengals’ ground game plummeted to 27th in the league en route to a 4-10 finish. The defense was even worse; after ranking fourth and sixth in yards and points allowed in 2009, Cincinnati ranked 14th and 24th in 2010.

    Ironically enough, one of the few Cincinnati players to pull his weight was none other than the supposedly washed-up Terrell Owens, who at age 37 came just 17 yards short of his 10th 1,000 yard season. If only T.O. could play defensive line . . .

    7. Patriots — It seemed like the good old days were back in New England once again between Tom Brady tossing up another MVP season, Deion Branch returning for another go-around in a Pats uniform and Bill Belichick regaining his mojo with the help of a stacked rookie class.

    But then the playoffs arrived, and the team that looked so formidable en route to a 14-2 regular season flamed out against a Jets team that they filleted 45-3 just over a month earlier.

    A quick peek behind the big, bad Pats' curtain reveals that they haven't won a playoff game since their shocking Super Bowl loss against the Giants in 2007. For all that regular season bluster, it certainly been a while since they backed it up with some playoff muscle.

    6. Texans — For what seems like an eternity, Houston has been tipped to break out behind a cadre of young talent. They disappointed yet again, even with the AFC South prime for the taking, thanks to the battered Colts showing more vulnerability than ever and Vince Young’s hissy fit leaving the Titans in the decrepit hands of 38-year old Kerry Collins.

    Bitter Houston fans should blame the league’s worst pass defense and a bumbling 2-7 finish, not to mention Gary Kubiak’s coaching, for squandering the organization’s best chance to date at its first-ever playoff berth.

    5. Redskins — Remember last offseason, when optimism was abound that a fresh start under the leadership of Mike Shanahan and Donovan McNabb would bring playoff football back to D.C.?

    Yeah, that was fun. Certainly much more enjoyable than anything related to the run game after Washington finished 30th in rushing offense and 31st in rushing defense and a barrel of laughs compared to the Albert Haynesworth saga.

    Now, coming off a 6-10 season, McNabb and Haynesworth are almost certainly out the door amidst concerns that perhaps Shanahan should be the one packing his bags and heading to retirement. You’ll have to pardon Redskins fans for not being so giddy this offseason.

    4. 49ers — The NFC equivalent to Houston as biggest perennial underachiever, San Francisco finishes two spots higher for finishing 6-10 despite being the heavy preseason favorite in a division that wound up as the worst in NFL history by virtue of producing a champion (Seattle) with a sub-.500 record.

    Statistically, the Niners excelled in one area of yardage (sixth in run defense) and finished in the bottom half of the league in the other three. That points to coaching — hardly shocking given how hopelessly out of his depth the earnest-yet-tactically-deficient Mike Singletary truly was.

    What was startling, however, was San Francisco finishing as high as 18th in passing offense with the Smiths at quarterback, as neither draft mega-bust Alex nor backup-material Troy should be let anywhere near the reins of a starting NFL offense.

    Bearing that in mind, then, perhaps it isn’t surpising that the 49ers were so mediocre. Until, that is, you remember that a team this talented only won six games despite playing a whopping 11 against the NFC and AFC West.

    3. ChargersOnly the San Diego Chargers could finish first in both yards per game on offense and yards allowed on defense and still miss the playoffs.

    2. Vikings — When the Vikings traveled en masse to Mississippi to lobby Brett Favre out of retirement one last time, it was in the hope that the aging gunslinger would again lead a lethal passing attack and this time get Minnesota to the Super Bowl.

    Instead, Favre endured what was likely the worst season of his career since 1993, and the Metrodome’s roof caved in. Ouch.

    The more cosmically inclined would chalk that up to karma after one too many Favre comebacks and vulgar text messages, but the truth is that the clock finally struck midnight on the once-ageless one's career. With Favre a shadow of his former self, Sidney Rice and Percy Harvin battling maladies and Randy Moss’ homecoming going over about as well as a Brad Childress pep talk, Minnesota’s offense plummeted from fifth in yards and second in points scored in 2009 to a putrid 23rd and 29th in 2010.

    Prior to this year, it would be tough to think of a way for a tortured fan base to suffer any more than they have for the past fifty years. In typical Minnesota fashion, the Vikings managed to make it happen.

    1. Cowboys — What, you were expecting someone else?

    How could you after Dallas finished 6-10 after a preseason, Jerry Jones-induced hype machine had them ticketed toward becoming the first team ever to play a Super Bowl in their home stadium?

    The damage was already done by the time Jason Garrett rescued the Cowboys from the wreckage of a Wade Phillips-led 1-7 start, both in the standings and with Tony Romo sitting on the sideline with his shoulder in a sling. The secondary, perpetually a trouble area for Dallas, was horrendous even by Cowboy standards as the team finished 26th against the pass, while the plodding offensive line once again was sieve-like.

    Befitting a season where almost nothing went right, electric rookie Dez Bryant — the team’s biggest bright spot on offense after Jason Witten — didn’t make it through the campaign after a broken fibula cut his season short with four games to go.

    In an NFL season where little went according to plan, the Cowboys were the foremost example of a team that fell well short anticipated heights.

    Like this? Want more? Follow Mike Piellucci on Twitter @mikelikessports
  2. Brundlefly

    Brundlefly Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2009
    I like how it says NE hasn't won a playoff game since their super bowl loss in 07. That makes sense

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