NFL's Most Disappointing Teams of 2011
Every season in the NFL provides teams that perform below expectations and sometimes their seasons are cut short.
2011 saw its fair share of disappointing teams in the NFL, whether it be an early exit from the playoffs or consistently bad play.
Here are the most disappointing teams from the 2011 season in the NFL.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were coming off an impressive 10-6 record in 2010 with a second-year quarterback and one of the youngest teams in all of football. 2011 was supposed to be a season of building on that success and perhaps competing for a playoff spot.
Instead, 2011 gave the Bucs a 4-12 record and finished the season with a 10-game losing streak. The Bucs' youth were simply overmatched and inexperienced, and it cost them.
Josh Freeman wasn't the same quarterback as he was in 2010. He threw a career-high 22 interceptions in 2011. The Bucs also had the worst run defense and were ranked 30th in rushing.
Nothing went right for the Bucs, and it culminated in Raheem Morris' firing at the end of the season. The Bucs will look to rebuild once again through the draft and get back to playoff contention.
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Many would consider the 2011 regular season for the Pittsburgh Steelers rather successful.
They were tied for the lead in the AFC North by finishing with a 12-4 record.
However, it was the playoffs that switched their season from successful to disappointing. Pittsburgh was one of the teams that could challenge the New England Patriots for a berth in the Super Bowl. But the Steelers were defeated by the underdog Denver Broncos in the first round of the playoffs.
For such a veteran-led team, the abrupt ending for the Steelers made 2011 a disappointment for Pittsburgh.
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The Buffalo Bills have been near the bottom of the NFL for longer than than they would like.
However, at the beginning of the 2011 season, it seemed as if the Bills were shedding that stigma. The team started off 3-0 and had an unbelievable win against the New England Patriots. They eventually went 5-2 in the team's first seven games and the Bills found themselves in a good position to contend for a playoff spot, especially if they kept up their performance.
But then the Bills collapsed. They ended up losing their last eight of nine games and Ryan Fitzpatrick was unable to keep playing like he did in the beginning of the season.
Unfortunately for Buffalo, the Bills showed some glimmers of hope in 2011, but it eventually transitioned into the disappointing season that too many Bills fans have become accustomed to.
Green Bay Packers
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The Green Bay Packers were on their way to an undefeated regular season. Then, in Week 15, the Packers' offensive line was exposed and the team suffered its first loss against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Although the Packers were able to finish the season with two straight victories, they went into the second round of the playoffs playing one of the hottest teams in the New York Giants.
The Giants dismantled the Packers 37-20 and, just like that, the team that was the biggest favorite to win this year's Super Bowl was out of the playoffs and sitting at home.
For a team with such high expectations, the Packers had a disappointing 2011 season.