2010 Biggest Disappointments in the NFL
This 2010 football season has seen some of the biggest disappointments in recent memory. Move aside Ryan Leaf, make room JaMarcus Russell! It's time to dissect the worst of the worst. To ferret out the pretenders from the contenders.
Here are the top 10 biggest disappointments of the 2010 football season.
Vince Young Of the Tennessee Titans
When you have arguably the best running back in football as the Tennessee Titans do with Chris Johnson, you only need a competent passing game to be a good football team.
Vince Young is the single largest reason this team is 5-7 and in last place in the AFC South.
His failure to mature and his incessant battles with Coach Jeff Fischer have distracted this team beyond recovery. It doesn’t help matters when owner Bud Adams tells the coach and player to work it out while stating in the same interview that Young will still be a Titan next year.
This is the same owner who flipped the bird to Bills fans after beating them last year. Which leaves Jeff Fisher searching for solutions.
The Cincinnati Bengals
This may be the most frustrating disappointment for a football fan to watch. With talent like TO and OchoCinco to throw to and Cedric Benson running the rock, there’s no reason for them to be 2-10 and at the bottom of the AFC North.
Cedric Benson revitalized his career last year by running for 1,251 yards on 301 attempts for a 4.2 yard per carry average. This year his average has fallen to 3.5 yards per carry even though he should finish with around the same number of carries.
Everyone points at Carson Palmer, but his numbers don’t support that. He’s completing over 60 percent of his passes and the Bengals are ranked 13th in passing, which isn’t stellar but isn’t in the basement either.
The problem is they don’t put up a lot of points (20th) and give up 26.8 a game (28th) while giving up 125 yards a game rushing (24th). They’re playing from behind in every game, and when you only average 6.6 yards per pass—it’s going to be difficult to come back on teams.
The Minnesota Vikings
With the amount of talent this team has, it’s hard to believe they’re sitting at a paltry 5-7. Adrian Peterson should equal five wins by himself.
However, with a coach every player seemed to hate in Brad Childress and a player in Brett Favre who had to be begged to play again, its little wonder their season seemed doomed before it even began. This team was rife with such distractions before the regular season started. Sidney Rice didn’t practice most of the preseason due to migraines and has barely been seen since, and Brett Favre had the Sterger picture texting distraction.
Compound all that with the fact that Favre finally looks his age and what do you get? A record of 5-7.
Peyton Manning of The Indianapolis Colts
We could call out the entirety of the Colts team, but Peyton always masked their deficiencies in the past. Nobody thought this year would be any different.
However, Peyton has looked almost human this year, throwing 11 picks in the last three games. The importance of losing TE Dallas Clark can’t be overstated. They say nature abhors a vacuum, the same could be said for NFL football teams.
Without Clark sucking defenders into the middle trying to guard him they’re free to roam. They also don’t have to spend three days out of the week game planning for Clark. Opponents are able to dedicate that time to studying and preparing for the other threats. It’s clear Dallas Clark was Manning’s safety valve, it’s impossible to replace that type of consistency game in and game out.
The San Diego Chargers
Special Teams, Special Teams, Special Teams.
When you’re ranked third in points, second in yards, and your defense allows a league low 281 yards per game, the only thing to prevent winning is if your Special Teams aren’t so special.
Nobody likes to talk about Special Teams because they often get overlooked and their impact normally isn’t felt in such a dramatic way. However, the Charges lost twice this year to division rival Raiders based almost solely on special teams. They lead the league in having punts blocked and in kicks returned for touchdowns.
If there’s any evidence that Football is a team game, the San Diego Chargers standing at 6-6 are the epitome of it.
The Houston Texans
Every preseason the pundits proclaim this is the breakout year for this talented team and every year Gary Kubiak proves them wrong. This year the defense is the culprit.
Ranked 27th in points allowed, 29th in yards allowed (They allow a whopping 388.8 yard average per game), and dead last allowing 287.4 passing yards per game.
Last year it was the running game that needed improving, this year they’re ranked seventh in the league. Every time they get one thing fixed something else falls off. It’s like trying to squeeze a water balloon, every time you get a grip on one part another part squishes out of your grasp.
The Dallas Cowboys
This team is stacked with talent. Their dismal 4-8 record, incredibly, is an improvement over where they stood merely a month ago.
Firing Wade Phillips seems to have alleviated a lot of that, especially with backup quarterback John Kitna behind center.
However, for a team who, in the preseason, talked of nothing less than playing in the Superbowl in their own stadium, for all that, they showed an incredible lack of discipline, focus, and smarts coming out of the gate.
Players have to have pride. They can’t always put the blame on the coach. Everyone saw all the missed tackles and players who weren’t even attempting to take correct angles whenever anyone got passed the linebackers.
One thing no one can deny, this team needed discipline.
The San Francisco 49ers
Projected early on to win the NFC West and make a playoff push, this team is proof positive that you can do no such thing with a sub-par Quarterback. Can’t do it, won’t do it.
They have the talent in Frank Gore, Vernon Davis, Michael Crabtree and Linebacker Patrick Willis. But without consistency at Quarterback they were doomed from the start. They average only 16 points per game (30th) and 316 yards per game (24th).
Defensively, they’re around the middle of the league, but when you give up 21.6 points a game and only score 16 obviously you’re going to lose. This one’s a no-brainer—get a Quarterback and you’re instantly in contention for the horrible NFC West.
Moss is one frustrating player to watch. It’s hard to imagine what it’s like being a teammate. What wide receiver in their right mind would force his way out of New England and away from Tom Brady?
There’s an obvious disconnect between what Randy thinks his talent is compared to what others think. New England is at 10-2 right now. Moss is 0-3, three being the number of teams he hasn’t contributed to this year.
Following his trade to the Vikings, which should have been his best chance at doing anything this year, he made the brilliant move of embarrassing himself, his teammates and the organization when he cussed out a caterer who had provided free food.
He was then promptly traded to the Titans. There he sits, wasting away, pretending to run routes, pretending to block, and telling us all what broad shoulders he has.
First of all, we entered this season without any progress on the impending bargaining agreement and possible lockout. Now it’s being said that the agreement may not come before preseason and could, inconceivably, carry over into the 2011 regular season.
On November 30th the NFL announced it would offer full refunds to general admission ticket-holders should the lockout occur. Goodell belongs on this list twice frankly, because his handling of fines and illegal hits has been a disaster.
Football is a contact sport. The real issue is preparing for an 18-game season. Physicality has been a core part of football since its inception. You take away the physicality and it’s Arena football being played in a Pro stadium.