Every season in the NFL a handful of teams come into the season with sky-high expectations.
Many will pick them to win their division and reach the Super Bowl. Some teams handle that pressure but, others fail to live up to the hype.
In other words, they turn out to be disappointments. Here’s a look at the three teams that stood out as the biggest disappointments of them all:
It’s hard to find a bigger disappointment from the 2018 season than the Jaguars.
The Jags went from selecting in the top 10 of the NFL draft year in and year out to having a 10-point lead over the Patriots in the AFC championship game in 2017. The Jags rode the NFL’s best defense that earned the name “Sacksonville” due to their dominant pass rush.
Offensively, Blake Bortles was a game-manger while Leonard Fournette shouldered the load as a rookie.
The Jags ultimately blew the lead versus New England and lost the game. However, with nearly every major contributor returning in 2018, the Jags were chosen by many to contend for a Super Bowl bid.
Instead, 2018 was a nightmare.
Despite the defense finishing third in the NFL in sacks, the offense could not hold their end of the bargain like they were able to in 2017. Bortles was benched for Cody Kessler while Fournette couldn’t stay on the field. By the way, the offensive line couldn’t sustain blocks if their lives depended on it.
The Jags went from believing their rebuild had paid off to debating whether or not another rebuild is coming. In addition, having a disgruntled star like Jalen Ramsey is never good.
Jacksonville was as disappointing as it gets.
Following Week 8, no one could’ve expected the Panthers to end up on this list. However, here we are.
The Panthers were 6-2 and seemed poised to challenge the Saints for the NFC South crown. Instead, they crumbled under the pressure.
The Panthers dropped seven straight games, Cam Newton played poor football, the defense couldn’t make big stops, and injuries began to pile up. The Panthers went from 6-2 to finishing 7-9.
What makes their season so disappointing was the promise this Panthers team had. Carolina finally seemed to surround Newton with the right weapons as Christian McCaffrey had a historic season (1,000 rushing yards and 100 catches as a running back). His draft mate Curtis Samuel showed growth as well (seven total touchdowns). Finally DJ Moore showed flashes of promise while Greg Olsen continued his steady play.
The Panthers finally had a balanced offense to go with a great defense…through the first eight weeks.
To make matter worse, Newton suffered an injury and could miss 2019. Yikes.
There’s no question Minnesota is the biggest disappointment of the entire season.
The Vikings went 13-3 in 2017 thanks to an incredible defense, dynamic wide receiving core, and a quarterback in Case Keenum who caught lighting in a bottle. They were one win away from the Super Bowl.
Many believed the Vikings were a great quarterback away from taking that next step. The Vikings listened and signed Kirk Cousins to an $84 million contract with loads of guaranteed money.
The NFC North also looked to be weaker than usual with the Bears young, Packers having no defense, and Lions rebuilding.
However, 2018 was as bad as it could have possibly been for the Vikings. Their offense was among the worst in the NFL finishing 20th in total offense. Cousins failed to get on page with his weapons, and the offensive line did not give him enough time to throw.
Instead of making it back to the playoffs the Vikings fell short at 8-7-1. The Vikings 2018 were a massive disappointment and a head-scratcher for many.