The NFL's 2012 season is closing in on its midway point, so it is time to reflect on what has taken place thus far.
There have been far more surprises than what was expected coming into the year, and the second half is set up to be just as interesting as the first.
But instead of pointing out the season's bright spots, let's take a look at some of the more pitiable occurrences so far in 2012.
The 49ers entered the game with the league's top defense and it was likely that the Cardinals wouldn't be able to do much with the football. But mustering up seven rushing yards on nine carries is flat-out unacceptable, especially on home turf.
Not having a backfield at full strength hinders any ability to get a running game going. Arizona will be dealing with that all season long, with Ryan Williams out for the year and Beanie Wells' return uncertain.
While crawling into an early deficit certainly didn't help either, calling only nine rushing plays all night long played a huge part for the miserable total.
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is coming off a four-interception performance in Sunday's 29-24 home loss to the New York Giants. Couple that with his five-interception showcase in the Cowboys' last home game—a 34-18 loss to the Chicago Bears— and the quarterback has thrown nine picks in his last two outings at Cowboys Stadium.
What's ironic is that those two games also represent Romo's two highest yardage and pass attempt totals of the season—which means Dallas is relying too heavily on its quarterback to win ball games and must find ways to create more balance with the offense.
However, Romo must become a better decision maker. While not all the mistakes are his fault, he has been in this league long enough to know that the onus falls on him.
The finger can be pointed in many different directions as a cause for the Chiefs starting the season with a 1-6 record. But as we have learned from the NFL, the quarterback shoulders most of the blame—especially when that quarterback is the lowest-rated passer in the NFL and has turned the ball over 16 times in six games.
Tennessee Titans' running back Chris Johnson hasn't quite been the same since becoming just the sixth player in NFL history to rush for 2,000 yards when he tallied 2,006 during the 2009 season.
Johnson's decline culminated this season when he gained only 45 yards on 33 carries in the Titans' first three games.
Though the running back has since rattled off 550 yards on 98 rushes, it might be hard for fans to put too much stock into his resurgence with how horribly the season began.
While a porous offensive line is partially to blame, Johnson must perform over the length of the entire season to help the Titans win.
No one expected the team to hold the ball for less than 17 minutes, go 0-for-9 on third-down attempts, tally only nine first downs and gain a mere 117 yards on just 38 offensive plays either.
Jaguars' punter Bryan Anger was busy as a result, booting a total of nine kicks for 462 yards. And if not for an errant punt by his counterpart, Donnie Jones—which set up a very short field for Jacksonville's offense—this game more than likely would have ended in a shutout.
Instead, the final score of 27-7 isn't all that indicative of the thorough beating laid on Jacksonville that afternoon.