NFL 2008: Five Important Players Destined to Fail

Peter FleischerSenior Writer ISeptember 5, 2008

Going into the season, every team probably sets expectations a little too high. Let's be real, the Packers probably won't be as good this season, and Miami will STILL suck. Any hopes to the contrary are just plain unrealistic.

So although there are players like Tony Romo who are dealing with some heavy weaponry and are poised for success, there are also a handful of players that are just begging to have a down year.

5) Aaron Rodgers

He's gotta live up to Brett's standards, and Lambeau fans will not forgive him when he fails to do so. I'm not sure how Ryan Grant will fare in his first season with a full workload, or how Donald Driver and Greg Jennings will work with the inexperienced signal caller.

The bottom line is, anything less then the NFC championship and a QB rating of less then the 95 that Brett put up last year won't suffice. It's not so much that I think that Rodgers will be terrible, but I can't see him pleasing Favre fans, so he's destined to fail.

4) Matt Ryan

For starters, Ryan is charged with the task of making Falcons fans forget about Michael Vick. Good luck there.

He'll also be playing behind a crappy line, handing off to Michael Turner, who has never started, and throwing to Roddy White as his number one receiver.

Yeah. He's screwed.

Combine that stuff with the fact that he was the first QB taken, so expectations will be big, and he goes from the ACC to the NFC. Ryan is definitely in for a rough year, and he'll probably hear it from Atlanta fans, something that's never good for a young player's confidence.

3) Shawne Merriman

This whole playing thing can't end well when you have four doctors telling you not to play. I realize that Merriman doesn't want to sit out a year when his team is a very possible Super Bowl contender, but I see no way that Merriman's season won't end in an ugly fashion.

2) Eli Manning

A pretty ugly debut for Eli reminds people that the Eli that we saw in the playoffs was not necessarily the real Eli Manning. He had a 54.3 completion percentage and one pick with no throwing TDs. The Redskins D is good but not that good.

Eli will have "giant" expectations this year, and on the heels of his Super Bowl victory, he has almost nowhere to go but down.

1) Chad Ocho Cinco

I can't beleive I just wrote that. And it's his real name...

But seriously, all the noise Chad has made in the offseason is about to blow up in his face. Since he didn't get traded, with all of his talk about "wanting to contend", he'll have to put up big numbers, or end up looking like a bigger baby then he really is.

But how much can he really contribute with his sore shoulder? I understand it's an injury that can be overcome, but what affect will that have on his game? With Carson Palmer and TJ Houshmandzadeh already banged up, and Rudi Johnson gone, the Cincinnati offense might struggle.

The Cincinnati Bengals aren't going to be very good this season, and Chad Ocho Cinco will be the center of the blame game. And because of all the whining he did this off season, he'll look even worse off.