NFL Insider Biggest Busts of 2011 Midseason
So far through the 2011 season there have been some surprise teams, great individual performances, and some not so stellar performances. I've listed my top 5 Busts of 2011 through mid-season.
Keep in mind these teams and players have time to turn things around, but were basing this off of what the expectations were coming into the season, and how they have performed through the first half of the NFL season. Without further ado, let's take a look at the "winners" of the not so good.
5. San Diego Chargers
Yes, the Chargers are 4-3 and tied for first place in the AFC West, but expectations were very high heading into the season. Many of the experts had the Chargers playing the Packers in the Super Bowl next February. In their four wins this season, they've won by an average of 6 points. Three of these teams were the Vikings, Broncos, and Dolphins, who've taken their fair share of beatings by other teams around the league. The losses have all come to 2010 playoff teams, which tells me that the Chargers are not capable of playing at the level of the AFC playoff teams. With a remaining schedule that includes the Raiders twice, Packers, Ravens, and Lions, it's going to be tough for this team to pull out of the hole they have dug for themselves. Philip Rivers has thrown an NFL high 11 interceptions, and single-handedly lost the game for the Chargers against the Chiefs last week. The receivers have not lived up to expectations, as running back Ryan Matthews leads the team in receptions. All Pro tight end Antonio Gates has been a huge disappointment, missing half the season due to injuries. With erratic play by Rivers and a very tough schedule upcoming, this team is going to be in trouble unless they turn things around quickly.
4. Kevin Kolb
When the Arizona Cardinals gave Kolb $65 million, they were basing this off of potential. The QB has been in the league for 5 years, but he is essentially a rookie as far as playing time. He's only started 14 games, and it's shown as he's led the Cards to a 1-6 start. Kolb has thrown 8 TD's, 8 interceptions, and has a completion percentage of 56%, which ranks among the leagues lowest. Andy Reid did a great job of building this guy up, and getting the most out of him. Unless Kolb can turn things around here in the second half of the season, the Cardinals may find themselves looking for a QB in next years draft.
3. Peyton Hillis
As a Browns fan, I was not happy to see that Hillis was going to be the cover boy for Madden. Nothing good ever comes out of this for any of the players that receive this honor. After posting 1200 yards last season, Hillis has only rushed for 211 yards and 2 TD's, averaging 3.5 yards per carry. He's missed several games due to injuries, starting with a strep throat illness, where Hillis stated he could have played, but his agent advised him against it because of him not having a long term contract yet. This is not what the people of Cleveland want to hear. They had high expectations for their team, as well as Hillis this season, and overall both have been a huge disappointment. Hillis expects to play Sunday, so we will see if he can turn things around.
2. Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles have one two straight, but a 3-4 start is not what the Eagles had in mind after spending millions of dollars on big name players during the off season. The Eagles were everyone's Super Bowl pick when they acquired Vince Young, Nnamdi Asomugha, DRC, and Ronnie Brown. But after winning their first game, the Eagles dropped four straight games, thanks to numerous turnovers by Mike Vick. Vick has thrown 8 picks, has 0 rushing touchdowns, and the team has a turnover ratio of -7. Asomugha has two interceptions on the year, but Cromartie has 0, and Asante Samuel is unhappy and wants out of Philadelphia. Overall, the defense has played well, but the offense has turned the ball over too many times. It seems that they have turned the corner, and if they can get a win against the Bears this weekend, it will go a long way in proving they can compete with the top NFC teams. LeSean McCoy has been nothing short of amazing for the Eagles this season, and they will need to lean on him even more as they go through the second half of the season.
1, Chris Johnson
CJ2K held out the entire preseason and training camp for a new contract. He didn't want to be paid as a running back, he wanted to be paid as a top play-maker in the NFL. Well, he got his contract, $56 million with $30 million guaranteed money. And how does he reward the Titans organization? By rushing for 302 yards, 1 TD, and 2.8 yards per carry. He has been simply awful! You cannot justify these numbers, no matter how hard you try. Yeah, he missed the preseason, but that should have limited him the first two or three games at best. We're in week 9 of the regular season now, and CJ2K is on base to rush for 600 yards and 2 TD's. We will definitely have to change his nickname. Maybe CJ.500? Has a nice ring to it if you ask me. If he continues this pathetic showing, he will go down as the biggest disappointment of all time. I'm not sure what the Titans will do with him after the season. It's a tough call when you give someone 30 million guaranteed, but they can't suffer through another season like the one he's off to now.