SB Nation decided to poll NFL fans on the most disappointing team in the league this year, and shockingly, the Falcons did not top the list.
Instead, it was the Jaguars, then the Packers, then the Falcons. I’m sort of in awe, being mired in my own misery about the Falcons, but certainly both of those teams have legitimate cases for the crown, as it were.
Which NFL team were you wrong about this season? pic.twitter.com/7JI0YZAnlU— SB Nation (@SBNation) December 14, 2018
The case for the Jaguars is fairly obvious. Re-upping Blake Bortles was a huge mistake that predictably went sideways, but Jacksonville also was supposed to have a strong ground game and terrific defense. Injuries and absolutely baffling play on defense have turned them into a laughingstock again, and now they have to dig out of the Bortles era and start over.
The Packers are a bit more of a stretch. Yes, Aaron Rodgers is great, and yes, they improved the defense a lot, but we knew the Vikings and perhaps Bears were going to be good, and we knew that the Mike McCarthy Packers appeared to have sort of peaked. I thought they’d be significantly better than they are, but I found their slow crash less stunning than, say, Jacksonville or Atlanta’s.
That gets us to the Falcons, who have been injured and bad and far worse than all but the most dour fan ever would have suspected. It has not been a fun year.
After starting 1-3, they rallied to 4-4, but haven’t won a game since they beat Washington 38-14 on the road. Now the Falcons sit at 4-9 and they’re about to miss the playoffs for the first time since 2015. Falling from Super Bowl aspirations to a likely top-10 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft has to be extremely disappointing for Atlanta.
The injuries hurt, but even with the injuries, this team woefully underachieved this season.
The good news for all three teams is that they shouldn’t have that far to go. Jacksonville’s defense is not actually this bad, and they can probably get a better quarterback off like, the street. Green Bay has a defense on the rise and some interesting pieces on offense that might be better utilized by the next coaching staff. And Atlanta, healthy and with a quality offseason, certainly could be a contender again. There are ifs there, but they’re plausible ifs.
Anyways, that’s more about some disappointing NFL teams. See you guys Sunday.