Tuesday, June 14, 2011
The home of playoff chokers?
By Bill Williamson
If the fine folks at Football Outsiders have anything to do with it, the AFC West would adopt this slogan: Welcome to the AFC West, where we choke in the postseason.
In the latest installment of their ESPN.com Insider series, the Football Outsiders look at the 10 biggest playoff disappointments of the past 25 years. The division was represented by the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 10 biggest playoff disappointments on the list. No. 1 and No. 2. Ouch.
Things were so bad that the 1995 and 1997 Kansas City Chiefs were tied for first. Both teams were 13-3 and both teams were knocked off in the divisional rounds. Both of the Marty Schottenheimer-led teams had serious Super Bowl aspirations that faded.
The No. 2 team on the list were the 1996 Denver Broncos. They were 13-3 and were expected to get to the Super Bowl. Yet, after the team’s starters rested for much of the final month, the Broncos were stunned at home by the Jacksonville Jaguars. However, the pain of that loss was soothed by two straight Super Bowl championships in the next two seasons.
The final team on the list is the 2006 San Diego Chargers. The Chargers went 14-2 only to lose a divisional round game against the New England Patriots in the final moments. It ended up being Schottenheimer’s final game as the team’s coach.
What do you think of this list? Do you think the rankings are fair? Do you have any other candidates? Fill up the comment section below with your thoughts.