Whether they failed to live up to the preseason hype or squandered a great season by bailing out of the playoffs early, the Breakout Live team debates which team was the biggest disappointment of the 2019 NFL season.
There are a lot of ways to measure disappointment, and it depends on the expectation of each team and their fan base. The Patriots don’t settle for anything short of a Super Bowl championship. The Ravens squandered a 14-2 season with one lousy playoff performance. The Colts were derailed from the start with the shocking retirement of Andrew Luck. The Saints had yet another heart-wrenching ouster from the playoffs. The Bears and Rams barely made it to .500 after rising to elite status last year.
But if you combine the elements of lousy record with lofty preseason expectations, I’d say the Chargers top the list of most disappointing. This was a 12-4 team last year with great offensive and defensive weapons, and I really thought Rivers had enough in the tank before his title window closed. Yet too many things went wrong with this team, and now an uncertain future presumably without Rivers awaits.
If we’re talking about the team with the most gut-wrenching and disappointing end to the 2019 season, then it’s gotta be my beloved Niners. Losing a 10-point lead in the final seven minutes of Super Bowl 54 was simply brutal. Even worse for Kyle Shanahan to earn the distinguished honor of being the offensive play-caller for the two biggest 4th quarter choke jobs in SB history in the process. Shanny traded his chance at sweet redemption for stinky regret. Who knows how long that stench will last?
As for the season overall, I think it’s 50/50 between the Rams and Chargers. Two teams coming off impressive 2018 campaigns only to bury their heads in the sand in 2019. I’ll give the Chargers the slight edge though, because the dumpster fire that was 2019 will probably have farther-reaching effects. Both teams will move into the same shiny new stadium in Inglewood starting next season, and only one of them has an actual fan base. The worst thing the Chargers could do this year was squander their positive momentum and lose fan interest, and that’s exactly what they did.
Senior News & Fantasy Editor
What a unique season 2019 was. The list of disappointing teams is a lot longer than it has been in recent memory. But we’re looking for the most disappointing and, to me, that’s the Cleveland Browns.
This one is personal for me. As a Packers fan of nearly 40 years, I turned my back on the Packers due to my disdain for Packers CEO Mark Murphy. Being on the rebound, I was looking for someone who could make me feel good about myself, again, and was immediately attracted to the energy of hot, sexy, and trendy Cleveland Browns. What could go wrong? Rebound relationships always work out, right?
This team had a personality plus first-time head coach, a franchise QB, and they added one of the most prolific and polarizing players in the game in OBJ to their collection of young talent. Even disgraced former Chiefs star Kareem Hunt was along for the ride.
Talk of Super Bowl in Cleveland? I completely bought in. Palpable anticipation for Week 1 at home vs. Tennessee. All that off-season hype and hope erased in three hours. Just vanished. The Browns drubbed 43-13 on their home field. A 30-point loss. Hope restored in a Week 4 win on the road at Baltimore, but that was the last dying spark of a fire that would be buried under shovels of sand over the rest of the season. A 6-10 finish. Freddie Kitchens fired. The legitimizing John Dorsey resigned. Baker no longer viewed as a franchise-saving quarterback. OBJ back to his New York state of malcontented mind. Myles Garrett almost went to jail. The Factory of Sadness back open for business and accepting applications. One more job opening as I put in my two-weeks’ notice.