Every year, some players come into the season with huge expectations. Some of those players meet or exceed the expectations, and some come nowhere close. Here is a list of players who did not live up to the high expectations that people had for them based on their performance last year.
Quarterback - Derek Anderson, Cleveland Browns
A year after leading the Browns to a 10-6 record and just missing the playoffs, the Browns were expected to build off of last year with a playoff run this season. Quarterback Derek Anderson was one of the surprises from last season and came into this season with big expectations from the organization.
However, Anderson led the team to a losing record before losing his starting job in week 10 to Brady Quinn. He threw for nine touchdowns and eight interceptions while having just one 300 yard passing game. He is now on injured reserve while Ken Dorsey is behind center for Cleveland.
Running Back – Joseph Addai, Indianapolis Colts
Joseph Addai missed three games this year with an injury, but even when healthy Addai has not looked like a number one back. He has just 514 yards and five touchdowns. He has only averaged 3.6 yards per carry while Dominic Rhodes has started to get more and more carries for the Colts this season.
Wide Receiver – Braylon Edwards, Cleveland Browns
Expected to lead the Browns to the playoffs alongside Anderson this season, Edwards has turned into the king of dropped passes instead. Edwards only has 697 yards and a mere three touchdowns through 13 games. He has only had one good game this season, a 154 yard and a touchdown performance against the usually stout defense New York Football Giants.
Wide Receiver – Chad Ocho Cinco, Cincinnati Bengals
Although much of his horrible performance this season can be blamed on Carson Palmer going down for the season with an injury, Ocho Cinco has had one of the worst years in his NFL career. He has just 428 and four touchdowns on the year.
Wide Receiver – Plaxico Burress, New York Giants
Burress had a season overridden with problems in controversy. He was suspended week five against Seattle because he missed a team meeting. More recently, he accidentally shot himself in the thigh at a club and will face charges for weapon possession. The Giants placed him on the non-football injury list, ending his 2008-2009 season.
Burress did not live up to expectations on the field this year either. He had just 454 yards for four touchdowns. Amani Toomer became more of Eli Manning’s favorite target this season and has more yards and just as many touchdowns as Plax so far this year.
Tight End – Jeremy Shockey, New Orleans Saints
Traded in the offseason from the Giants, Shockey was expected to be a major factor in the Saints’ passing game this season. But that has not been the case. He missed three weeks early in the season with an injury. He has fought with quarterback Drew Brees about him not getting the ball enough, leading Brees to try to force balls to Shockey, which has led to interceptions.
Shockey has just 371 yards and 0 touchdowns through week 13. He also has two lost fumbles. He is ranked 17th in receiving yards among tight ends.
Offensive Line Unit – New England Patriots
The Patriots have already allowed 40 sacks this season, which is almost twice as much as their total from last year. That is an average of one sack every 10 plays, which is dreadful. Even Pro-Bowler Matt Light has not played well, allowing 6.5 sacks this season.
The main reason the offensive line looked so well last year is the fact that Tom Brady is surprisingly elusive in the pocket. Plus he has a quick release to go along with the fact that he has one of the best safety valve route runners in the game in Wes Welker. When Brady went down in week one, Matt Cassell stepped in. Inexperienced quarterbacks do not have the quick release and that is why Cassell has been on the ground on plenty occasions this season.
The offensive line woes continue to the lack of the Patriots’ run game. Although the Pats do not have a feature back, carries are shared between Kevin Faulk, Sammy Morris, and Lawrence Maroney. Undrafted rookie BenJarvus Green-Ellis has also filled in due to injuries. None of these backs have more than 500 yards going into week 14.
Team Defense – San Diego Chargers
One of the best defenses last season, the Chargers have been one of the worst scoring defenses in the NFL this year. The injury of Shawn Merriman, who is out for the year, has hurt the linebackers. Cornerback Antonio Cromartie has showed that his only value is for jumping routes and intercepting balls, but not as cover corner because he consistently gets beat for long gains.
The Chargers have allowed over 20 points seven times in 14 games. They had a four week stretch in which they did not force one turnover. They let up 39 points to Denver and 37 points to New Orleans.
The Chargers are the team you want to face if you are a quarterback, since they have let up an average of 270 yards a game and almost two touchdowns a game to opposing quarterbacks. Tight ends have good games against the Chargers as well, with opposing tight ends averaging 70 yards receiving and almost one touchdown a game against San Diego.