Chicago Bears and the 8 Most Disappointing NFL Teams in 2011
Every NFL team enters the season with aspirations of raising the coveted Lombardi Trophy, but only one team succeeds at the daunting task.
The Chicago Bears won't be one of those teams this season, and their story tells similar to a lot of other teams' 2011 campaigns: the injury bug.
What's disappointing to me is how ill-prepared the Bears were personnel wise at backup quarterback and how elementary the offense has become with Caleb Hanie at the helm.
What other teams ride along in the same train as the Bears? Read on.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Entering the 2011 season, Josh Freeman was praised as one of the brightest young talents the league had to offer.
The tune to Freeman and the Buccaneers song has gone horribly wrong, and the team finds itself on a nauseating eight-game losing streak.
Head coach Raheem Morris' job looks to be in jeopardy because the defense can't seem to stop anyone in either the pass or the run game.
A 4-10 record is not what the Buccaneers had in mind at this point in the season, especially when many believed them to be a sneaky pick to come out of the NFC South.
We were all ready for a different Indianapolis Colts football team when the news of Peyton Manning's expected absence from the 2011 season broke. However, I don't think we thought it would be this bad.
One thing that we've learned from the Colts this season is that one man truly can change the outlook on an entire team.
Now don't get me wrong, the defense has been awful as well—giving up over 28 points per game—but the woes on offense have been enough to make Elvis roll over in his grave.
I wouldn't call the Colts season a disappointment as much as I would say how disappointing it's been to watch the Colts implode in such a manner.
St. Louis Rams
Honestly, there isn't much to say about the 2011 St. Louis Rams.
After a stellar rookie season from quarterback Sam Bradford, the team and Bradford went missing. The sad part about Bradford's sophomore season is that even when he wasn't injured with a sprained ankle, he still looked confused by defenses and flustered by pressure.
The rise of the Rams was a hot topic, as many people—including myself—thought the Rams were a great pick to win what we thought was a weak NFC West.
Well, the Rams are now 2-12 on the season and haven't won a game in over a month, giving me reason to believe that they should just call it a season for Sam Bradford.
After all, he is your future.
New York Jets
It's tough to call an 8-6 record a disappointment, but when your head coach shouts Super Bowl or bust claims, being a borderline playoff team isn't going to suffice.
Mark Sanchez has yet to develop into the player that he was thought to going be, and in now his third season, one can only begin to question whether he is actually an NFL caliber quarterback.
The defense hasn't been as stout as we're used to against the run, as they rank in the middle of the pack, allowing 113 yards per game.
Plus, any time the Jets get swept by the Patriots, the season is pretty much an automatic disappointment.
Kansas City Chiefs
Let me start by highlighting the fact that injuries to key players can derail a team's season in an instant, and that's what happened to the Kansas City Chiefs.
However, coming off a 2010 season where they won a division, a 6-8 mark and no head coach is not quite what the city of Kansas City had in mind.
The run defense has been porous, and up until they miraculously beat the undefeated Packers this past weekend, the team was 2-4 on their home field.
Their monumental win over Green Bay may have softened the blow a bit, but I still consider the 2011 Chiefs to be a bit of a disappointment.
You knew this one was coming.
Not only have the Eagles been this year's biggest disappointment, they are arguably one of the biggest disappointments in recent memory.
After an offseason where the Eagles locked up big-time names like Nnamdi Asomugha, Jason Babin, Ronnie Brown, Vince Young, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and re-signed Michael Vick to a lucrative contract, the so called "Dream Team" had lofty expectations.
Even though the Eagles are still in playoff contention, it's hard to justify this season as a success.
The run defense has been awful, Michael Vick has been unable to stay healthy, and aside from LeSean McCoy, the team hasn't had anything consistent in terms of production.
All you can really do is shake your head at the 2011 Philadelphia Eagles.
San Diego Chargers
Earlier in the season, it seemed as if Philip Rivers was incapable of throwing the ball to his own teammates.
The Chargers have since clawed back to within one game of the division lead, but that still doesn't hide the fact that they had once lost six consecutive games at one point in the season.
Most had Super Bowl expectations for this Chargers team heading into the season, but those have since gone by the wayside.
With two road tests remaining, we'll see just how savvy Philip Rivers is, and if he can fully get back to the elite-level quarterback we all know him to be.