New York Jets: 5 Players Who Didn't Live Up to the Hype in 2011

Aidan MackieSenior Analyst IJanuary 14, 2012

New York Jets: 5 Players Who Didn't Live Up to the Hype in 2011

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    The Jets 2011 season was full of disappointments, as the team struggled to build on their previous success.

    Although the entire roster had tremendous expectations heading into the season, some players were magnified to an unprecedented degree.

    Some players, such as Nick Mangold and Darrelle Revis, thrived under pressure, while several key stars folded in the spotlight.

    Here are five Jets who failed to live up to the hype in 2011. 

Santonio Holmes

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    After a superb 2010, Santonio Holmes received a huge contract that guaranteed his presence in the Big Apple for the next five years.

    Holmes was largely believed to be one of the best offensive weapons in football coming into the season.

    However, in his second year in New York, the wide receiver really struggled.

    The Ohio State product finished with a lowly 51 catches and 654 yards, and he was non-factor for much of the year.

    He failed to break 100 yards in any game this season, and he had seven games with under 40 receiving yards.

    The former first-round pick had a disastrous campaign, and he was one of the main reasons for the Jets offensive struggles.

    Holmes also failed to act like a captain, as he continually caused tension in the locker room.

    The 27-year-old was supposed to be a star this season, but he performed like an average player and a subpar teammate instead. 

D'Brickashaw Ferguson

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    After a string of stellar seasons, D'Brickashaw Ferguson was widely regarded as one of the game's best tackles entering 2011. 

    However, the mammoth offensive lineman took a big step backwards this year, and he failed to live up to preseason expectations. 

    Ferguson performed well below his usual standards in both pass protecting and run blocking, and he was often a liability in close games. 

    The former Virginia star was constantly beaten by opposing pass rushers, while also being overpowered by the opposing defensive line in the running game. 

    Although Ferguson was selected to his third consecutive Pro Bowl, he was a momentous disappointment this season. 

Wayne Hunter

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    After a slew of strong seasons as a backup, Wayne Hunter was awarded the starting right tackle position last offseason.

    The Jets believed that Hunter would help anchor one of the best offensive lines in football, and be a staple in both pass and run blocking.

    However, New York has come to regret the move, as Hunter consistently struggled in 2011.

    The Hawaii product was an absolute mess in pass protection. Opposing pass rushers feasted on his subpar speed. 

    Mark Sanchez took many unnecessary hits because of Hunter's weak protection. 

    The 30-year-old was also a liability in the running game, as he failed to open up holes for the Jets running backs.

    Hunter was a joke of a right tackle this season. 

Kenrick Ellis

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    After being selected in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft, Kenrick Ellis entered the season with lofty expectations.

    The franchise strongly believed that Ellis would be a major factor in the run defense, and help establish New York as one of the league's most dominant defensive units.

    However, injuries and subpar play led to a very disappointing season for the rookie.

    Ellis appeared in just five games, and he failed to have much of an impact.

    The monster defensive tackle recorded just seven tackles, and the Gang Green run defense actually regressed.

    New York's front office and coaching staff were discouraged by Ellis' performance in his maiden year in the league. 

Mark Sanchez

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    After appearing in the AFC Championship game in his each of his first two years in the league, Mark Sanchez was supposed to lead the Jets to the Super Bowl in 2011.

    Instead, the quarterback failed to even reach the playoffs.

    Sanchez showed little signs of improvement in his third year, as he failed to consistently lead New York's offense.

    The former USC Trojan committed mindless turnovers all year long, and he was responsible for a large portion of the Jets losses.

    The 25-year-old's subpar accuracy and poor decisions led to a disheartening year in Gotham.

    Sanchez proved that he is one of the game's most overrated signal-callers, and he fell well below expectations.