We all know the shortcomings that have contributed to the teams disappointing season, but I'm going all out Greg McElroy on you, by throwing another theory/factor into the mix.
Since the season ended, its come to light that some players (Smith, Sanchez) played the latter part of the season carrying injuries. Firstly lets make it clear that I applaud their toughness, commitment, the will/desire to win all for the teams cause, you could say 'playing like a Jet' ( I prefer to use that phrase for a rousing performance but its relevant to my point).
But my issue is this, did this do the team more harm than good? I know your initial reaction will be, we have no suffient cover, player of the same caliber within the 53, and many would prefer an injured player than a fully fit fringe player. Surely the players are risking further injury, their career? (and yes they could easily pick up injuries in training).
Why did we leave money in the cap ($8m plus) this could have gone on adding more quality and depth to the squad. Are these players scared that a replacement will outplay them? isn't this how AT TIMES new stars are born, through the misfortunes of others?
In addition to my crazy theory, look at Shonn Greene after his rib injury he wasn't the same, Tony Romo for the cowboys played with a injured hand, Michael Vick was injured constantly yet they continued to play, the outcome...no play-offs, sound familiar. I could argue that Big Ben in last nights game wasn't fully fit, (yeah the Steelers went close, because of him) but don't forget he threw a pick, (after limping into a timeout) which contributed to them having too big a mountain to climb.
Just food for thought, I'd love your feedback on this, am I just crazy, or is there something to my theory?