The San Diego Chargers and 5 Teams That Could Have Been Contenders, but Choked
The NFL season is long.
Injuries, tough schedules, and simple attrition can take a team that was hot and completely knock them out of the playoff picture.
When the season starts we see some teams with high expectations struggling to find a win.
We see other teams start fast and then fade.
Let's look at five teams who we thought could contend that have completely choked and are now struggling just to keep their head above water.
5. Buffalo Bills
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
The Buffalo Bills came into the season underneath everyone's radar.
After going 4-12 in 2010, there weren't many who were looking at the Bills as any sort of a contender.
But the wheels fell off.
The defense had never been strong but now the offense was struggling, as well.
And now, with starting running back Fred Jackson headed to injured reserve, it doesn't look like the Bills will be regaining their early form.
4. Kansas City Chiefs
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
It isn't that anyone had the Chiefs contending for a Super Bowl but returning divisional champions usually at least contend to win the division again.
The Chiefs won ten games in 2010 and lost to the Baltimore Ravens in the Wild Card round.
No reason to think they couldn't contend again in one of the weaker divisions in the league.
The Chiefs started slow, losing three games in a row.
But then they rebounded to win four games in a row.
They have now gone back to their losing ways, losing three in a row to the Dolphins, Broncos and Patriots.
Starting quarterback Matt Cassel is now gone for the season and the Chiefs remaining schedule is brutal.
3. Philadelphia Eagles
Rich Schultz/Getty Images
Who can figure out the Philadelphia Eagles?
Chosen by many to challenge the Green Bay Packers in the NFC, the Eagles began the season living up to the expectations by trouncing the St. Louis Rams 31-13.
Then they proceeded to lose four games in a row.
The Eagles upset the Giants last week under backup quarterback Vince Young but they still remain three games behind the Cowboys and two games behind the Giants.
The Eagles may need to go undefeated to have a chance at even making the playoffs.
2. San Diego Chargers
Harry How/Getty Images
Being a San Diego Chargers fan must be difficult.
Every year it seems that they have the talent to contend for a Super Bowl.
Every year they fail to live up to those expectations.
Early on the Chargers were looking like they may overcome their yearly struggles. They started the season 4-1 and were in the driver's seat in the AFC West.
Then came the bye week.
The Chargers have now lost five games in a row since the bye.
They are now tied for last place in the division.
Phillip Rivers has thrown 17 interceptions and the Chargers are struggling to run the ball and stop the run.
That's not a good combination if the Chargers are going to make a late season run.
1. Detroit Lions
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
The Lions may still contend this season but they have put themselves in a very tough position.
They have been solid for most of the season amassing a 7-4 record.
However, in the NFC North that's only good enough for third place.
Add in a possible upcoming suspension for top defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh due to his actions in the Thanksgiving game against the Packers and the Lions may have a hard time even making the playoffs.
They still have road games at New Orleans, Green Bay, and Oakland.
If the Lions are without Suh for very long, this season may unravel very quickly.