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Chris graduated from Georgia State University in 2009 with degrees in Journalism and Creative Writing. He has spent a lot of time working with the media. From engineering radio broadcast for most of Atlanta’s major sports teams to shooting high school football games behind a camera, Chris has a lot of media experience. Besides that, he loves soccer, detective shows, and a buffet list of 'nerdy' things that would embarrass his wife.

12 Disappointments of the 2013 NFL Season

It’s that time of the year again. That’s right, it’s nearing the end of the NFL regular season. We’ve seen some crazy games and some really shocking turn of events. From last year’s worst team clinching at least a Wildcard spot in the playoffs, to the number of backup QBs lighting up defenses– it’s been a great year! With that being said, there have also been quite a few notable let downs as well but there is no reason to get down about it, it’s the holiday season, right? Why not get everyone in the proper mood with the 12 Days…12 Most Disappointing Developments of the 2013 NFL season?

1. An inept Pittsburgh D.

Jennings

The “Steel Curtain” is lifting…(Image Credit:Matt Dunham/AP)

There used to be a time when people would be scared to death of the Steelers’ defense. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been like that at all this year. I think it has more to do with age then anything, as Dick LeBeau’s unit is the oldest in the NFL. They aren’t generating turnovers and have rarely given Big Ben a short field to work with. They have had their moments this year (last Sunday against the Bengals for example). But in a year where the AFC North has essentially up for grabs, this unit has hardly been an inspiration.

2. Schiano “drops the gloves.”

Earlier this year in our NFL Season Preview, I wrote how Mike Glennon could eventually take over the Tampa Bay offense. While the writing was on the wall, the way Greg Schiano handled the Josh Freeman situation was irresponsible.  We may never know who leaked the information about Freeman’s drug test, but I have a sneaking suspicion that Tampa’s morbid start to the season was a direct correlation of that locker room friction.

3. Stagnant Houston.

Part of me feels bad for Gary Kubiak, but at the same time, he has been given talent and chances to get the Texans on the right track. It hasn’t worked (pay attention Arthur Blank). You may be able to blame injuries, but the truth of the matter is that the Texans had been stagnant for years. Sure, the defense got better since that abysmal season 3 or so years ago, but they still have the same pieces on offense.

4. Mismanaging Birds

Honestly, when I think about the Falcons troubles this season, it’s hard to look past the how badly they were prepared for Matt Ryan’s contract and how bad management is at evaluating needs. It started with trading a slew of draft picks for Julio Jones (Alshon Jeffrey and Josh Gordon–both 2nd rounders–just an FYI), and ended with a severe lack of depth on both sides of the ball.

5. FIVE GREATS WITHOUT RINGS!

Larry Fitzgerald, Adrian Peterson, Demarcus Ware, Tony Gonzalez and Andre Johnson: five players that I believe will never win an NFL Superbowl. For me, the biggest disappointment in the group is Tony Gonzalez, but all of these guys deserve(d) to hoist the Lombardi Trophy at least once.

6. Quarterbacks-a-payin’.

There are 5 elite quarterbacks in the NFL. When I say elite, I mean that they would make a average WR on their team look like Jerry Rice or Megatron. Can you name them? Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger. These guys should be the highest paid QBs in the league. Romo, Ryan, Flacco? Eh, not so much. But the market is getting inflated, and the rosters are truly suffering (see the Falcons).

7. Dallas’ toxins stayin’?

Romo

What’s the deal with Dallas? (Image Credit: AP)

Four things that need to change in Dallas: Head Coach Jason Garrett should be former Head Coach Jason Garrett, no more diva outburst from would-be top receivers, more leadership from Tony Romo, Jerry Jones leaving his ownership role. Now here’s the disappointing thing–none of those things may happen.

8. Too much Robert Griffin.

Out of the four marquee quarterbacks in the NFC East, only three of them should have started the season. No, I’m not talking about Tony Romo, but RGIII should have never been tested until he was fully fit. Kirk Cousins is a pretty good backup, in fact, I think that he’s had a couple of games this season and the last where he has proven that. His first game should have been game 6 or 7.

9.  Paychecks getting taken

The fines have come and the fines will keep on coming. For those of you who may be Atlanta natives, it’s kind of like the toll on 400. Even when the toll seems unnecessary, it continues and continues (the toll is finally gone, but I still go out of my way to avoid 400). Maybe that’s what Mr. Goddell is trying to do? But milking players paychecks to send a message? Not very cool.

10. Giants’ weak performance

Eli

Another game, another turnover (Image credit: Jim McIsaac )

What has happened to the Giants? Eli has always been turnover prone, but this season’s New York Giants have disappointed lovers of competition everywhere. Eli is a player that thrives on confidence, and after that opening night in Dallas, you just knew it wasn’t going to be the Giants’ year. I think Eli is approaching that point where he has more fumbles in a season than career playoff appearances…

11. Oakland’s steady slumping

There really isn’t anything to add (see the Raiders seasons since JaMarcus Russell). I wanted to see something work out for them this year.

12. Defensive play is dumbing

The rule changes haven’t helped, but the overall defensive play in the NFL has declined. Maybe it’s the focus on QBs? Maybe it’s player safety? Or maybe skill players are turning into athletic freaks? Either way, there’s only a select few teams that are playing championship winning defense right now, and I see that number dwindling once those teams have to ante up to pay their QBs.

Let’s review (in song of course): The 12 disappointments the NFL gave to me…Defensive play is dumbing, Oakland’s steady slumping, Giant’s weak performance, paychecks getting taken, too much Robert Griffin, Dallas’ toxins stayin’, Quarterbacks-a-payin’, FIVE GREATS WITHOUT RINGS! Mismanaging Birds, stagnant Houston,  Schiano “drops the gloves” and an inept Pittsburgh D.

Happy Holidays!

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One Comment on “12 Disappointments of the 2013 NFL Season”

  1. Andrew Rogers January 2, 2014 at 12:28 am #

    Great article Chris. I totally agree that Romo, Flacco and Ryan are way overpayed and I think you’re 100% right that their teams suffered as a result. I, like you, also love great defence. I think Carolina and Seattle are the only two playing great defence now and why? Because they can afford it because they have good, potentially great quarterbacks that are not being paid at an elite level as of yet. I was equally disappointed by Houston and Atlanta’s massive decline’s but not surprised and I, like you, agree that penalties are kind of killing the purity of the game. Yes, I agree that safety has to be a big priority but it’s about calling the right penalties and, all too often in the last two years we’ve seen iffy penalties dramatically change games.

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