Labeling the NFL's "Most Disappointing" of 2008 (Part Two)

Robert ZendzianCorrespondent IFebruary 13, 2009

Welcome back for the second part of the NFL’s most disappointing in the 2008 season.  Last time in Part One, we looked at the most disappointing event, team, and quarterback.  Now let us glance at some more offensive players and delve in to the running back, wide receiver and offensive line categories.


Running Back

Marion Barber disappointed the most out of the back field and here is why.  Last year Barber competed for carries with Julius Jones and this year he was not on the team.  A significant more carries seemed to be heading his way in 2008. 

While it was not that significant, Barber did get 34 more carries to prove himself as an elite back in the NFL.  What did he do with those extra carries? Mr. Barber put up fewer yards and scored fewer touchdowns. 

In 2007 Barber had 10 touchdowns and 975 yards leading the team with 4.8 yards a carry.  Poised to have a huge year, he dropped his totals to 7 touchdown and 885 yards.  His 3.7 yards a carry in 2008 were shadowed by both Felix Jones’s 8.9 and Tashard Choice’s 5.1. 

Choice and Jones were rookies in 2008 and had more success on the ground when given the opportunity.  You can argue that they had better situations to run in and that they did not take the bulk of the carries and were rested, but there is no excuse here.  There is no excuse for his seven fumbles that resulted in three turnovers in 2008. 

He only fumbled three times in 2007 and lost none.  Marion Barber showed in 2008 he cannot handle the ball more than 205 times a season and have as good of a year he had in 2007.  Good thing for him, Felix Jones and Tashard Choice are there for support in 2009.      


Wide Receiver

I really was not going to think about this one and just say Chad “Ocho Cinco” Johnson.  However, I am glad I did because I have a new guy; Torry Holt.  Alright, why was his performance more disappointing then Chad Johnson’s?  I mean after all, Holt put a more respectable season together than Johnson did.  

Johnson only caught 53 balls for 540 yards after coming off a career high 1,440 yard year in 2007.  Torry Holt put up 796 yards from his 64 receptions.  The reason Holt gets labeled the most disappointing receiver of 2008 is the fact that for the first time since 1999 he did not post a 1,000 yard season. 

2001 was the last time he caught less than 90 balls prior to 2008.  While he may not have had as huge of gap between his stats from last year to this year than Johnson, he played in every game in 2007.  Johnson only played in 13 games. 

Another three games, the stats would have been up there around Holt’s.  Holt had two more consecutive 1,000 yard seasons then Johnson going into this year.  Holt was also riding into 2007 with a 90 or more catch performance in each of the past six seasons whereas Johnson was only riding a one year streak. 

It is also more disappointing because Torry Holt, unlike Johnson, has represented his team with pride and kept his complaints to a minimum.  It is worse seeing a guy who represents good in the NFL world suffer through a down year towards the end of his career.

Believe it or not, Johnson needed a little bit worse of a year than 2007 to get this label.


Offensive Line

The New England Patriots and Jacksonville Jaguars are the two offensive lines that come to my mind.  The Patriots only allowed 21 sacks on Brady last year, yet forgot to protect the quarterback this year. 

Maybe they did not realize they had a quarterback after Brady got injured since Matt Cassel was sacked 47 times in 2008.  They line gave up a total of 48 sacks on the year, more than double what they did last year. 

However, with a sixth ranked rushing attack in 2008 up from 13th in 2007, they avoid being the biggest disappointment.  Jordan, Fault, and Morris all had an average yard per carry of at least 4.5.  That is some good run blocking. 

Sorry Jacksonville, but your offensive line disappointed the most in 2008.  In 2007, they gave up 31 sacks which was not too great, however Fred Taylor rushed for 1,202 yards and combined with Jones-Drew, they made up the second best running game.  2008 was worse in both areas for the Jaguars. 

Garrard was sacked 41 times and their running game dropped to 18th in 2008.  Also, they went 5-11 a year after making the playoffs, and while the defense had a part to play in it as well, better offensive line play would have helped as well.


Thank You For Reading! Please Comment.  Look for the next article to include kicker, coach, and draft choice.