NFL teams surprise and disappoint loyal fans

The Five NFL Teams that Surprised and Disappointed This Year

William Zytnick, North Campus Staff

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The 2018-19 NFL season saw multiple things change, such as the rise of new empires like the Chargers, Chiefs, and Bears, and the downfall of old relics like the Patriots and Steelers. At the same time, it saw the Cleveland Browns win a football game for the first time since December 24th 2016, in spectacular fashion. In this edition we will take a look at the five NFL teams that surprised and surpassed expectations, as well as five teams that greatly disappointed.

The Five Teams That Surprised:

5) Kansas City Chiefs: No one expected that the Chiefs would be this good. The Chiefs took a major gamble by trading Pro Bowl quarterback Alex Smith and going with Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes, who is easily in the running for NFL MVP, tore through his opposition on the way to being the first seed in the AFC.

4) Indianapolis Colts: What a turnaround for Indy. The Colts had a dismal 1-5 record to begin the season. Then, “Luck” would have it: the Colts won 9 of 10 remaining games and clinched a playoff berth in Week 17.

3) Seattle Seahawks: In the off-season, their famed “Legion of Boom” defense was nuked, however within the rubble lay a hidden gem: the running game. It, Russel Wilson, and a surprisingly stingy defense served the Seahawks well. They made playoffs this year but lost to the Cowboys.

2) Cleveland Browns: OMG. Cleveland hit gold in the 2018 draft; QB Baker Mayfield and RB Nick Chubb are both finalists for Offensive Rookie of the Year, and Denzel Ward had a great year with 41 tackles and 3 interceptions. Cleveland finished this season with a respectable 7-8-1 record. Yes, next year, they have a legitimate chance to win the AFC North. Look out Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Cincinnati.

1) Chicago Bears: The Bears have finally emerged from mediocrity. In the off-season, the Bears stunned everyone by trading for disgruntled linebacker Khalil Mack, a generational talent. Let’s just say with that move, the ‘85 Bears are officially reborn. Chicago rode their defense and Mitch Trubisky to dominate the NFC North, but they lost to Philadelphia in the Wild Card game in heartbreaking fashion. Despite the loss, this team is super scary on both sides of the ball and will be back next year.

The Five Teams That Disappointed:

5) Minnesota Vikings: It’s official: Kirk Cousins is an $80 million bust. Cousins and the Vikings continuously failed to beat quality opposition and humiliatingly got crushed by Buffalo at home. And, this was a team everyone thought was a Super Bowl contender. They would’ve done better with Keenum.

4) Green Bay Packers: They got Aaron Rodgers back. That’s about it. The Packers flopped this year, fired their head coach, and still don’t have receivers other than Devante Adams, nor have a consistent rushing attack. Their defense still stinks. Rodgers can’t do it all.

3) Carolina Panthers: Before the Panthers faced Pittsburgh during Week 10, they were viewed as legitimate playoff contenders. Newton and company were poached in the Steel City and never recovered. They would go on to lose six more games in a row, sealing their fate.

2) Pittsburgh Steelers: You go 7-2-1 and have a 97% chance to make the playoffs, and somehow, you blow it. Ladies and gentlemen, that’s called a collapse. Some of the lowlights include: being outgunned by “elite” Joe Flacco, leaving at least 21 points on the board against Denver, squandering a 16 point lead against the Chargers, and “falling” short to the Raiders. At the very least, they beat New England.

1) Jacksonville Jaguars: Ah, Sacksonville. This team went to the AFC title game last year and is back in the basement. An ineffective Blake Bortles/Cody Kessler led offense, which plagued the Jags last year, doomed them. RB Derrick Henry absolutely shredded this “stellar” defense’s reputation with a 99 yard rumble on Week 14. He rushed for more yards than QB Marcus Mariota threw that game. Bortles will likely be gone, and a tough AFC South will make it hard for them to rise back up.