NFL 2011: Ranking the 4 Biggest Busts Heading into Week 11
As we draw closer to playoff time, we begin to look more and more at which teams will be playing in January.
It is easy to get caught up in debating which teams will win their divisions and who will snag up the wild-card spots. However, now is a great time to look back on some of the biggest busts of the NFL season.
It happens every year.
There are teams that come in with certain expectations, and they just don't live up to the hype. For whatever reason, these teams were not able to put together the kind of season that everyone believed they were capable of.
Here is a look at four of the biggest busts this NFL season heading into Week 11.
Philadelphia Eagles (3-6)
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Was there another team that came into the 2011 season with higher expectations than the Philadelphia Eagles?
After a slew of big offseason pickups and with the hype coming off of Michael Vick's 2010 performance, the Eagles were early favorites to win the Super Bowl. Backup quarterback Vince Young went as far as calling them a "super team."
The Eagles got off to a nice start in Week 1, taking down the St. Louis Rams, but it was downhill from there. They went on to lose four straight games.
They are now 2-2 in their last four and sitting in third place in the NFC East. Michael Vick is beaten up after suffering two broken ribs in their latest loss to the Arizona Cardinals.
Their secondary has not been nearly as good as expected, especially considering the amount of money they poured into it this offseason.
The Eagles have enough talent to rally and make a playoff push still, but that window is closing quickly.
San Diego Chargers (4-5)
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The San Diego Chargers are known for putting together great winning streaks at the end of the season.
Now would be a perfect time for them to start. The Chargers are currently sitting at 4-5 and in a three-way tie for second place in the weak AFC West.
San Diego got off to a hot start, going 4-1. It looked as if it would again be the class of the AFC West despite quarterback Philip Rivers' struggles.
Then the Chargers went on to lose their next four, including a close game this weekend against their division rival Oakland Raiders.
On paper, the Chargers looked like one of the most talented teams in the AFC. They've shown us that this is why we don't decide champions on paper.
The Chargers have been competitive in all of their losses but have showed that they just don't have what it takes to come up with that big play or drive to get the win. If you can't dig down deep and make those plays, you will not beat many good teams.
The Chargers certainly aren't out of the playoff picture, but in terms of expectations, they are a bust.
Indianapolis Colts (0-10)
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When it was announced that Peyton Manning would most likely miss the entire season, we all knew that the Colts were in trouble.
We knew that they would not be nearly as good, and that it would be a struggle to make the playoffs, especially with the Houston Texans continuing to get better in the AFC South.
However, I don't know if we ever expected them to be this bad.
They are sitting at a pitiful 0-10 and appear as if they have given up all hope of even winning a game. They have scored a pathetic 27 points in their last four games.
It was clear that the Kerry Collins experiment failed quickly, and we all can see that Curtis Painter just doesn't have what it takes to be an NFL starter.
The most surprising part of the whole situation has been the lack of motivation from the rest of the team. It seemed that once it was announced that Manning was done for the year, the rest of the players accepted that they were done too.
No one expected the Colts to be dominant without Manning, but I'm not sure anyone saw this pathetic of a performance coming.
St. Louis Rams (2-7)
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Since the days of Kurt Warner and Marshall Faulk passed, the St. Louis Rams have been sitting at the bottom of the barrel.
When they took Sam Bradford first overall in the 2010 NFL draft, things started looking up. The Rams had a solid season in Bradford's rookie year, going 7-9 and almost winning the NFC West.
Everyone assumed coming into 2011 that the young Rams would continue developing and would be in the running for the division crown.
Instead, they are 2-7 and currently the lowest-scoring team in the NFL, averaging a miserable 12.6 points per game. Bradford has battled some injuries this year, but the rest of the team hasn't performed up to its abilities.
What was a wide open division last year has been taken over by the San Francisco 49ers. The Rams are now once again at the bottom of the NFL, leaving their fans wondering when they will see the top again.
Unfortunately for them, the next time they see the Rams on top of the standings, they may no longer be in St. Louis.