All the Way Down: Which NFL Player Will Fall the Hardest This Season?

Danny Flynn@FlynnceptionSenior Analyst IAugust 25, 2010

All the Way Down: Which NFL Player Will Fall the Hardest This Season?

0 of 15

    SEATTLE - AUGUST 14:  Running back Chris Johnson #28 of the Tennessee Titans rushes during the preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks at Qwest Field on August 14, 2010 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    The 2010 NFL season is knocking at the door, and the hype and excitement is an all-time high right now. Players around the league are preparing to put in months of work in the quest for a Super Bowl ring.

    As with every season, there will be players who shine this year, but there will also be a few who fall flat. For whatever reason, there are always a few stars every year who just don’t live up to expectations.

    These 15 NFL notables could have to prepare for a rough season in 2010. Which one will fall the hardest?

Drew Brees?

1 of 15

    NEW ORLEANS - AUGUST 21:  Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints in action against the Houston Texans at the Louisiana Superdome on August 21, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    Being the NFL’s “celebrity” quarterback can be a draining and consuming job. Brees will have to try and balance everything that comes with that label as he tries to lead the defending champs.

    He now wears the biggest target in the NFL.

Chris Johnson?

2 of 15

    SEATTLE - AUGUST 14:  Running back Chris Johnson #28 of the Tennessee Titans looks on prior to the preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks at Qwest Field on August 14, 2010 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    The one thing you can certainly say about Johnson is that he has confidence. Even if that confidence probably isn’t anywhere close to matching up with reality.

    Johnson’s “I'm going to walk around like I’m God's gift to the running back position” attitude could rub some teammates the wrong way this year.

    Chris, there’s no need to be the next Chad Johnson, just carry the football.

Mark Sanchez?

3 of 15

    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 16:  Quarterback Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets walks off the field against the New York Giants during their game at New Meadowlands Stadium on August 16, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty
    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    Somewhere along the way, a 9-7 football team that lucked into a playoff spot last season became potentially the greatest squad in the history of the sport.

    Or at least that’s what they’d want us believing.

    It might be a little hard to make a run at greatness with a sophomore quarterback who has both a lackadaisical attitude and a worsening interception habit.

Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens?

4 of 15

    CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 15: Terrell Owens #81 and Chad Ochocinco #85 of the Cincinnati Bengals look on during the preseason game against the Denver Broncos at Paul Brown Stadium on August 15, 2010 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Bengals won 33-24. (Photo by Joe
    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    We’ll look back at this one in five years and say, “Well ya know, that almost worked."

    Yup, that idea of bringing two over-the-hill, prima donna receivers together and combining their forces was almost a good idea.

Brandon Jacobs?

5 of 15

    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 27:  Brandon Jacobs #27 of the New York Giants against the Carolina Panthers at Giants Stadium on December 27, 2009 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    Running around with 270 pounds of body weight isn't that big of a deal when you're 24 years old.

    When you're 28? It's a bit more of a hassle.

Matt Leinart?

6 of 15

    NASHVILLE, TN - AUGUST 23:  Matt Leinart #7 of the Arizona Cardinals watches from the sidelines during a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field on August 23, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee. Tennessee defeated Arizona, 24-10.  (Photo by Gran
    Grant Halverson/Getty Images

    Remember all that talk about Leinart losing all that money in the 2006 NFL Draft?

    Doesn’t seem like such a bad deal now, huh?

    If Leinart’s contract had been based off his output in the NFL, he’d owe the state of Arizona about $75,000 right now.

Jay Cutler?

7 of 15

    CHICAGO - AUGUST 21: Jay Cutler #6 of the Chicago Bears takes a break during warm-ups before a preseason game against the Oakland Raiders at Soldier Field on August 21, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Raiders defeated the Bears 32-17. (Photo by Jonathan Da
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Mike Martz will have Cutler throwing a lot more this season.

    But is that really a good thing?

    He led the NFL with 26 interceptions last year.

Adrian Peterson?

8 of 15

    SAN FRANCISCO - AUGUST 22:  Adrian Peterson #28 of the Minnesota Vikings runs with the ball during their preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park on August 22, 2010 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Peterson is guaranteed to slowly break down over the next few years.

    But just how soon will it start?

    It's OK to slow things down every once in a while, Adrian. The "I'm going to train everyday like I'm filming a NIKE workout video" program is only going to put more wear and tear on your body.

Jeremy Shockey?

9 of 15

    NEW ORLEANS - AUGUST 21:  Jeremy Scockey #88 of the New Orleans Saints celebrates after defeating the Houston Texans at the Louisiana Superdome on August 21, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    Shockey just won the Super Bowl.

    Did you honestly think the guy wasn't gonna do a little bit of partying?

Peyton Manning?

10 of 15

    TORONTO, CANADA - AUGUST 19: Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts looks on prior to game action against of the Buffalo Bills on August 19, 2010 at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Brad White/Getty Images)
    Brad White/Getty Images

    Will the Super Bowl loser curse strike Manning and the Colts this year?

    Manning will be 35 after next season. It isn't tough to fathom that we could have seen the best he has to offer already.

LaDainian Tomlinson?

11 of 15

    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 16:  LaDanian Tomlinson #21 of the New York Jets falls into the endzone for a touchdown that was eventually called back during their game against the New York Giants at New Meadowlands Stadium on August 16, 2010 in East Ruther
    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    The Jets seemed to employ the “let’s take everybody no one else wants” approach when it came to bringing in players this offseason.

    LT has had some great years in the NFL, but the 31 year old lost his step a few years ago.

The Buffalo Bills?

12 of 15

    TORONTO, CANADA - AUGUST 19: Trent Edwards #5 of the Buffalo Bills looks towards the sidelines during a break in game action against the Indianapolis Colts on August 19, 2010 at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Brad White/Getty Ima
    Brad White/Getty Images

    The Bills have a bright spot in rookie running back C.J. Spiller, but outside of him, there isn’t a lot to get excited about.

    At least they should be in prime position to get the quarterback of their choice in next year’s draft.

Dez Bryant?

13 of 15

    OXNARD, CA - AUGUST 14:  Wide receiver Dez Bryant #88 signs autographs for fans during Dallas Cowboys Training Camp at the Marriott Residence Inn Oxnard River Ridge on August 14, 2010 in Oxnard, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    The rookie hasn't just started off on the wrong foot for the Cowboys, he's started off on a broken ankle too.

    I'm going to say it now, America—this is going to be fun for all the wrong reasons!

Osi Umenyiora?

14 of 15

    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 08: Osi Umenyiora #72 of the New York Giants leaves the field after a loss to  the San Diego Chargers at Giants Stadium on November 8, 2009 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    Jason Pierre-Paul has a long way to go to become a consistent NFL player, but once he gets to that level, it will spell the end for Osi.

    Umenyiora can only delay the inevitable for so long. How motivated will he be in his last season as a Giant?

Brian Cushing?

15 of 15

    HOUSTON - JANUARY 03:  <Linebacker Brian Cushing #56 reacts after sacking New England quarterback Brian Hoyer at Reliant Stadium on January 3, 2010 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
    Bob Levey/Getty Images

    As we've seen with plenty of baseball players in the past couple of years—getting over the stigma of being a known steroid user takes a bit of time.

    No matter how Cushing performs this season, it will look tainted now that he's been outed.

🚨 SPORTS NEWS ➡️ YOUR INBOX

The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.


X