The NFL season is at the halfway mark. Some players have been exceptional and have outperformed expectations some players have done the opposite and dramatically underperformed. Let's take a look at the five biggest disappointments.
The Bills took Manuel as a first round pick two drafts ago. When you are taking a QB in the first round you are banking on him being a franchise QB. Entering his second season the Bills had even went out and got him a bright shiny new toy to play with in the form of Sammy Watkins.
E.J. Manuel was completely unable to push the ball downfield and get the ball into the hands of Sammy Watkins. He was benched and Kyle Orton has taken his starting spot. Orton has been fine but prior to the season he wasn't even on the roster and seemed to be on the verge of retirement. Manuel has missed his shot to be a starter in the NFL.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Before the season started plenty of NFL pundits were bullish on Tampa Bay and the new Lovie Smith regime. Josh McCown was coming to Florida off the back a great season in Chicago and after the draft Tampa Bay were left with a team of giants playing in the receiving positions. Theoretically, with Vincent Jackson, Mike Evans and Austin Sefarian-Jenkins Tampa Bay should have had mismatches all over the pitch.
The feeling was that Tampa Bay were at least an 8-8 team.
Tampa Bay are 1-6 so far this season. They have been awful. Two of those losses were at home to teams that were starting their backup quarterbacks and a further one of those losses was a Thursday night blowout to divisional rivals the Falcons. They are an awful football team and are firmly in contention for the number one draft pick in next season draft.
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The expectation was that the Seahawks defense would lead Seattle in the defense to their by dominating offenses and living up to the 'Legion of Boom' moniker.
Seattle have gone 4-3 with the defense being a shadow of its former self. They have given up 20 or more points in over half their games and the defense ranks only tenth against the past.
The Seattle defense isn't a disaster but it isn't what it was or what it was thought to be.
In his 16 and a half seasons in the NFL the running backs that have played with Peyton Manning have been bona fide studs. It is easy to see why defenses needing to cover against the pass have put fewer defenders in the box to stop the run. When Manning hands the ball off on play actions then the running back should have yards and yards of daylight to take advantage of.
The expectations then were that Montee Ball would be a top 10 running back
Ball never came close to delivering the yards that he was expected to. He's injured right now regardless he would have likely lost his number one spot because, he ended up averaging 3.1 yards per carry. To put this in perspective over the first four games last season Knowshon Moreno averaged just over five per carry.
The expectations for Geno Smith weren't that high but he was at least expected to look like he has play football before.
Smith has been woeful. He has been caught abusing his own fans and even worse has been a turnover machine. Last week Smith threw three interceptions in the first quarter before being benched. His NFL career is done.