Don Shula decided that he wanted to depart Miami with a bang after the 1995 season. He knew that this was his last year in charge of the franchise and pushed the front office to spend a lot of money. They invested heavily in the roster and used a lot of cap space to assemble a dream team.
The idea was to give Dan Marino the weapons he required to fire the franchise to Super Bowl glory. However, after a 4-0 start, they stumbled their way into the postseason like a drunk in a restroom. Then they crashed out immediately against the Bills in the most disappointing manner (via NBC Miami).
Dan Snyder poured a lot of money into the Redskins in 2000 as he looked to buy success. This meant that Washington had the first $100 million payroll in history and was one of the most hyped NFL teams ever. The L.A. Rams proved in 2022 that it’s possible to invest heavily to win a ring but it’s a massive risk if it doesn’t work.
Unfortunately, Washington fans watched their team stumble to an 8-8 season as they failed to make the playoffs. Snyder also lost patience with Norv Turner at the midpoint of the year as it became clear that he didn’t have the skills for the job. It was a huge shock because everybody expected more from them (via ESPN).
It’s not uncommon for Super Bowl contenders to fall apart after losing the showpiece game. But nobody expected the Panthers to suffer a dramatic meltdown in 2016. In Cam Newton, they had the league’s reigning MVP and one of the most exciting quarterbacks in the league.
But Newton had an immediate decline and this seriously affected their record. They lost their way and missed the playoffs after they became one of the most hyped NFL teams of the decade. Ron Rivera made a serious error when he allowed star cornerback Josh Norman to leave because this left a gaping hole in their roster (via Fox Sports).
The Cowboys entered 2020 with one of the most stacked offenses in the league. They were one of the hyped NFL teams that entered the season and fans hoped that they’d have a great year. Their quarterback Dak Prescott had weapons like Ezekiel Elliot, Amari Cooper, and CeeDee Lamb at his disposal (via ABC).
But then it became a lost year after Prescott suffered a serious injury. He made a decent start to the season but everything fell apart for the franchise. Coach Mike McCarthy struggled to turn the situation around during the global health crisis. In the end, they went 6-10 but it could have been worse for them.
Denver fans licked their lips after the team signed Russell Wilson in 2022. This was the most high-profile trade of the offseason and many people thought that they’d become instant contenders. Even if they didn’t win a Super Bowl it was a step in the right direction. However, the Broncos joined the ranks of hyped NFL teams that crushed their fans’ dreams.
Wilson had a diabolical season as his lack of mobility cost him dearly. Meanwhile, many critics cited attitude problems as a reason why he didn’t gel with his teammates. Rookie coach, Nathaniel Hackett was also clearly out of his depth as he led his team to only three wins in their first nine games (via NBC Sports).