NFL Playoff Picture: New York Jets and 5 Teams That Choked in 2011
Part of what makes the NFL so great is its unpredictability.
Some teams that came into this season as league bottom-feeders have emerged as playoff contenders, while other franchises that entered 2011 with extremely high expectations have disappointed with poor play.
These teams, despite possessing some of the most talented rosters in football, have choked and left fans questioning the future of the organization.
New York Jets
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The Jets still have a slim chance of claiming the last Wild Card spot in the AFC, but odds are that the confident bunch will spend January at home.
After two consecutive AFC Championship appearances, Rex Ryan and company came into the season as Super Bowl favorites.
Instead, the team has failed to back up their head coach's bombastic predictions, as they have suffered huge losses to solid teams all season.
Mark Sanchez has shown signs of improvement, but he continues to make rookie mistakes in big-time moments.
The defense has been inconsistent all year long, and the offensive line has taken a big step back after establishing themselves as one of the league's best units the past few seasons.
Santonio Holmes and Plaxico Burress continue to make bold statements, but they also have failed to back up their incessant chatter.
Gang Green has made fools of themselves in 2011, and they are sure to make some drastic changes in the offseason.
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Despite a late-season surge, the Eagles will spend the playoffs at home this season.
The "Dream Team" embarrassed themselves for the majority of the season, as they suffered brutal losses to multiple mediocre teams.
The bevy of offseason signings all failed to impress, as the defense was burned on numerous occasions.
Michael Vick was average for most of the year, as he choked in clutch games.
Explosive wideouts Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson also struggled, mainly due to injuries and immaturity.
Andy Reid will be on the hot seat entering the offseason, as he was unsuccessful in gelling one of the most talented rosters in football in 2011.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
After a 10-6 2010 and an impressive 4-2 start, the Buccaneers looked like serious contenders this season.
However, the team has played absolutely appalling football the last three months, as they have dropped nine consecutive games.
After a terrific 2010 season, quarterback Josh Freeman has taken a big step back. The Kansas State product has thrown just 14 touchdowns, as well as a league-leading 19 interceptions.
Young offensive weapons LeGarrette Blount and Mike Williams have also suffered setbacks this season.
Tampa Bay's defense has been one of the worst in football this year after a solid 2010 campaign.
The Bucs have displayed their inexperience and immaturity this season, as they have gone from one of the up-and-coming teams in the league to one of the worst.
After leading a young team to the brink of the playoffs last year, head coach Raheem Morris came into 2011 with tremendous job security.
After a brutal stretch of nine straight losses, he is now on the hot seat.
St. Louis Rams
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After falling a game short of the postseason last year, the Rams entered 2011 as perennial favorites in the NFC West.
However, St. Louis has taken a significant step back, as they currently sit at a lowly 2-13.
The once-promising team has been a massive disappointment this year, as they have failed to play decent football for any length of time.
Sam Bradford has struggled, throwing for just six touchdown passes in 10 games. The defensive unit has been awful, as it currently ranks as the worst run defense in the NFL.
With the only consistent offensive starter, Steven Jackson, aging, the team needs to rebuild quickly.
The Rams choked in 2011, and if they do not improve through free agency and the draft, then they could disappoint again next season.
San Diego Chargers
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The Chargers may be the most consistent chokers in NFL history.
Despite boasting one of the most talented rosters in football, the team will once again spend the playoffs sitting at home.
Philip Rivers has struggled throughout the season, throwing a league-high 19 picks.
The running game has fallen short of lofty expectations, and the defense has been inconsistent all year long.
San Diego will make some major changes on both sides of the ball in the offseason.
Norv Turner, after years of falling short of the franchise's expectations, is most certainly out in Southern California.