Top 10 Collapses in sports


Keith Allison

New England Patriots at Washington Redskins 08/28/09

By Marc Ramirez , Staff Writer


Free agency, retirement, or even just one loss can turn a whole teams season around. Here is a list of the top 10 collapses in sports.


.10 2013 Houston Texans

Fresh off an impressive 12-4 season and a decent playoff run in 2012, the Houston Texans were legitimate Super Bowl contenders in 2013. They had two All-Pro players on offense in running back, Arian Foster, and wide receiver, Andre Johnson, and a very sturdy defense led by JJ Watt. The Texans failed to live up to the hype, mainly by poor play from quarterback Matt Schaub. They eventually fired head coach Gary Kubiak after a 14 week loss, and clinched the number one in the draft as they ended the season with an utterly disappointing 2-14 record.

.9 2011 Miami Heat

Following LeBron James’ much anticipated “The Decision”, James decided to take his talents to South Beach, Florida to team up with all stars Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh, in hopes of winning an NBA Finals. Although the big three made the finals, they just couldn’t pull it out as the Miami Heat fell to the Dallas Mavericks in six games.

.8 1992 Houston Oilers

The Houston Oilers, on the 1990’s, were a force to be reckoned with. Led by Hall of Fame quarterback, Warren Moon, and a menacing defense, the Oilers of the early 90’s were title contenders. After finishing with a 10-6 regular season record and clinching a wild card berth, the Oilers had to travel to Rich Stadium to face off with the Buffalo Bills.

After a dominating first half from Houston, the Oilers led 28-3. But then all hell broke loose. The Buffalo Bills miraculously put up 35 points in the second half and forced the game to overtime. In OT Warren Moon over threw a pass intended for wide receiver, Ernest Givens, and into the arms of a Buffalo defender, where the Bills would eventually kick a thirty two yard field goal and win the game. The game is known as “The Comeback” and still haunts Houston sports fans to this day.

.7 2003 Chicago Cubs

The Chicago Cubs have the worst World Series drought than any other team in the league. The Chicago Cubs have not won a World Series in over 107 years! In 2003 the Cubbies had a chance to break that dreadful streak. That year the Cubs had finished 88-74 and had a promising playoff run- until game 6 of the NLCS. Leading the series 3-1, the Cubs had a 3-0 lead in the top of the 8th inning against the Miami Marlins.

Five outs away from a chance at breaking that century long streak; all until Luis Castillo came up to bat. Castillo hit a pop fly to the left field foul line, where fan, Steve Bartman, interfered with and blocked Cubs outfielder Moises Alou from catching the ball and ending the inning.

The call on the field was fan interference, as a result Castillo was walked on the next pitch, then on the next at batter the pitcher Mark Prior threw a wild pitch that allowed both the next batter and Luis Castillo to get into scoring position. Then Ivan Rodriguez stepped up to the plate hitting a single and allowing the runner at third to score, and after that the Chicago Cubs completely choked and lost the game 8-3.

After the gut wrenching loss in game 6 the Marlins clinched a game and 7 and eventually won the NL Pennant. To this day Cubs fans still cringe over the image of fan Steve Bartman interfering with the foul ball.
.6 2011 Green Bay Packers

The 2011 Packers were a force to be reckoned with. Fresh off a Super Bowl win the year before, the Packers were hoping on repeating with going into the playoffs with an immaculate 15-1 regular season record. According to Pro Football Focus , the 2011 Packers were hands down the best team in the NFL that season , boasting the leagues #1 Offense and astounding defense led by All Pro DB Charles Woodson.

The Packers clinched the number one seed overall and had home field advantage throughout the entire playoffs. In the Pack’s first playoff game against the New York Giants, the Green and Yellow were upset by the G-men 37-20. It’s unimaginable to think that a team with the 2nd best all time offense was upset by a team that went 9-7, although that’s not the first time the Giants upset a heavy favorite.

.5 2011 Indianapolis Colts

The 2011 Indianapolis Colts are the definition of a one man team. Prior to the 2011 season, the Colts were projected to make their 10th straight playoff appearance and were favored to be the first team to play in the Super Bowl in their home stadium (Super Bowl 46 was being held in Indy that year). What could possibly go wrong?

Prior to the season Peyton Manning got season ending neck surgery and he was forced to sit out the entire season. The Colts endured an embarrassing 13 game losing streak until beating division rivals Tennessee Titans and Houston Texans in weeks 15; 16. In the end, Indianapolis finished with a 2-14 record and clinched the number one pick in the draft. The Colts went from being the 4th ranked offense in 2010 to a dismal 30th in 2011.

At the end of the season the Colts cut franchise star Peyton Manning and the Colts went on to pick QB Andrew Luck in the upcoming draft and start a new era in Indy.

.4 2014 Kansas City Royals

The 2014 season was magical for the Royals. After years of mediocrity the Royals made the playoffs for the first time in 29 years! That postseason the Royals were known for their immaculate comebacks

. After being down by four runs in the Wild card game against the Oakland Athletics the Royals somehow scored three runs in the eighth and one run in the ninth to send the game into extra innings, where the Royals would miraculously win. That win set the tone for the entire Royals postseason. Where the Royals went on to win eight postseason games in a row. On the route to the World Series, the Royals beat the power house Los Angeles Angels and the Baltimore Orioles in four games each. After clinching the AL pennant the Boys in Blue were pitted against the San Francisco Giants.

The tagline for the World Series that year was “Destiny Vs Dynasty”, but in the end the Dynasty that was the Giants was supreme. The Giants defeated the Royals in a gut wrenching seven games due to historically dominant pitching from Madison Bumgarner. With that win the Giants won their third world series in five years and had handed the Royals their first World Series loss since 1980.

.3 2013 Denver Broncos

This is one of the more recent collapses in sports, and it could possibly be the most embarrassing. The 2013 Denver Broncos could have been the single best football team in the history of the NFL. The only thing that’s stopping sports writers and sports fans alike from giving the Broncos that title is their risible performance in Super Bowl 48. In 2013 the Broncos had statistically the best offense of all time.

Quarterback Peyton Manning had an astounding 55 touchdowns and 10 interceptions with an all-time low 1.5 interception rate. On top of Manning’s performance the Bronco’s also had an abundance of wide receiver’s consisting of All Pro receiver’s Demaryius Thomas and Wes Welker , and help from Pro Bowl tight end Julius Thomas. On the other side of the ball, the Denver defense was led by perennial pro bowler Champ Bailey and rising star Von Miller. Denver finished with a league best 13-3 record and were faced against the Seattle Seahawks, who had the best defense that year respectively.

Super Bowl 48 was predicted to be one of the best Super Bowl’s ever, with the Bronco’s historically high scoring offense edging out the Seattle Seahawks. The End result was the exact opposite. The Seattle Seahawks defense was flat out dominant, intercepting Peyton Manning two times and giving Manning a season low quarterback rating of 47.9. The Seattle Seahawks pulled out one of the best Super Bowl upsets, and had shut down the NFL’s all-time best offense 43-8.

.2 2008 Detroit Lions

When an NFL team goes from being 3-13 in 2006 and 7-9 in 2007, one can only imagine that in 2008 the team would continue to build on the previous season. That wasn’t the case for the 2008 Detroit Lions. During the 2008 offseason the Lions were primed to build off their 7-9 campaign in 2007.

After adding a plethora of future NFL stars in the 2008 draft, the Lions were determined to end their ten year plus playoff drought. The Lions couldn’t have been more delusional. The Lions became the first team in the history of the NFL to end the season without winning a single game. Everything went wrong for the Lions in ’08. The Lions gave up 517 points during the season, coming within 16 of matching the all-time low of 533.

With a deadbeat offense and one of the worst defenses of all time it’s no surprise that the Lions didn’t win a single game all season. Ironically the Lions went a perfect 4-0 in the preseason. From bad play execution to bad play calling everything awry for the Lions in the 2008 season, and to this day the 08 Lions are considered the worst team in the history of the NFL.

.1 2007 New England Patriots

Can there really be any other team in the number one spot? The New England Patriots are the definition of biggest collapse in sports. Following a devastating loss in the AFC championship game the year before, the Patriots looked to revitalize their offense by trading for future all pro wide receiver, Wes Welker, and future Hall of Famer, Randy Moss. The Pats were determined to redeem themselves the following season; and they did so in a remarkable fashion.

The 07 Patriots were the first team ever to have a perfect 16-0 record in the modern era of football. At the time the Patriots had the best statistical offense ever, scoring 589 points total and averaging 37 points a game. The Pats continued their reign of dominance throughout the playoffs and set to play the underdog, New York Giants, in the Super Bowl.

The Pats were the obvious favorite to win the game, but the Giants wouldn’t go down without a fight. Surprisingly, it was a low scoring game. Going into the fourth quarter, the Giants defense held the highest scoring offense at the time, to a season low seven points.

The pace of the game didn’t start to speed up until New York Giants quarterback, Eli Manning, threw a five yard touchdown pass to wide receiver, David Tyree, making the score 10-7 New York, with eleven minutes and five seconds remaining on the game clock . On the ensuing drive Tom Brady and the high powered New England defense marched down the field and scored on a touchdown pass from Brady to Randy Moss, making the score 14-10 New England.

With a mere two minutes and forty two seconds left in the game, Manning and the New York Giants were determined to upset the best team the NFL has ever seen. The key play of the game was a third and five on the New York 44 yard line. Quarterback Manning had only one minute and fifteen seconds left in the game to make history.

On third and five Manning took the snap from his center, and was moving around in the pocket trying to give his wide receivers time to go down field. Manning was immediately under pressure from New England defensive linemen Jarvis Green and Richard Seymour, both players had Manning grasped by his jersey. Somehow Manning escaped the opposing players grasp and quickly fled the pocket, and threw a 32 yard bomb down field to wide receiver David Tyree, where Tyree miraculously made a catch while somehow maintaining possession by pressing the ball against his helmet.

That play would go down as one of the most famous and clutch plays in sports history. Following the spectacular catch by Tyree, the G Men then scored a late touchdown three plays later by a 13 yard touchdown from Eli Manning to wide receiver Plaxico Burress making it 17-14 New York. With 35 seconds remaining in the game Tom Brady and the Patriots hoped to keep their undefeated season alive but on the last drive of the game, the New York Giants defense didn’t allow a single yard and forced a turnover on fourth and 20 ending, Patriots hopes of being the first team to go 16-0 and win the Super Bowl.

In retrospect sometimes with just a player being out for the season or even one small mistake can make a team go awry.