By: Kyle Ayers

The twelve teams in the NFL playoffs have been set. Love it, like it or loathe it, there’s not much you can do about it at this point. Maybe your team had a great or good season, lived up to or exceeded expectations; or maybe your team flopped around like a fish out of water that throws into triple coverage like he is blind. The NFL season is a crapshoot, but this never stops us from predicting, or looking back. Here are some teams that missed the playoffs, but probably shouldn’t have.

San Diego Chargers – For the past eleven years it has been the Chargers’ year. Phillip Rivers, Antonio Gates, one of the top defenses in the league, all should add up to victories. Slow starts mixed with disastrous coaching constantly leads the Chargers down the wrong path. They missed the playoffs for the second straight year in the abysmal AFC West, despite a team full of perennial Pro Bowlers. The Chargers play in a division where the other QBs this season were Tim Tebow, Tyler Palko and The Ghost of Carson Palmer, yet somehow found themselves near the bottom. The Chargers have been known for their poor starts to seasons, but they decided to partner that with a mediocre middle and a devastating finish, despite having as much talent as any team in the league.

New York Jets – For a team whose coach guaranteed they would win the Super Bowl this year, they sure are taking a funny route there. The Jets blew a few winnable games this season and are now watching teams like the Cincinnati Bengals attempt to make a Super Bowl run. A whole lot of money invested into a team that made it no further than the St. Louis Rams this season. No team talked-the-talk and fell down attempting the walk worse than the New York Jets did this season. A point of interest, as well, both the Jets and the previously listed Chargers fell at the hands of Tim Tebow. The Jets and Coach Rex Ryan seem to be the only people on the planet who think Mark Sanchez can be a successful start quarterback in the NFL.

Chicago Bears – Not only did the Chicago Bears fall victim to a couple of key injuries this season, but they are rapidly aging in a division full of young talent. The window on the Bears’ deep playoff runs is coming to a close. The Vikings have a promising young QB in Christian Ponder, and both the Lions and Packers made the playoffs this season. The Bears also traded away a good portion of their potential future to the Denver Broncos for the emotionless corpse known as Jay Cutler, which will cripple them for the next few years. Oh, and they were another one of the teams that fell at the Jesus-driven battle hero known as Tim Tebow. I’m starting to see a trend here. The Bears have since cleaned house and hope their medically repaired crybaby quarterback can sling them into the playoffs next year. It’s not looking good, though, for a team stuck in one of the NFL’s stronger divisions.

Dallas Cowboys or Philadelphia Eagles – It would be difficult for both of these teams to make the playoffs out of the same division, but the fact that neither of them could muster up better than a .500 season in the NFC is a disgrace. Tony Romo is yet to put together a full season of great play and the Philadelphia Eagles looked nothing like the NFL Dream Team they were hyped up to be. Philadelphia tried to make a run at the end of the season, but couldn’t make up for their disastrous start. The Cowboys once again teased their fans with greatness, but had more fourth quarter collapses this season than every other season in Cowboys history combined. That’s a mind-numbing stat if you’re a fan of America’s team, and something funny to laugh at if you are anyone else.

Kyle Ayers is a writer for CBS Local and, as well as a stand up comedian living in New York, Earth.


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