All “Had a Bad Day” Team, Week 1

| September 15, 2011

It’s with a heavy heart I write this. You see I’m a positive person, I love giving out praise. But so often, when something good happens in the NFL, it does so at the expense of someone else. It means that not everyone can be a star. It means there’s a need for a Bad Team of the Week.
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So sit back, buckle up and get ready for a bumpy ride. Team one had plenty of good performers – but who were the worst? Let’s find out
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(note: Pro Football Focus does not grade injuries or inexperience, but puts everyone on the field on an equal platform)
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OFFENSE
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Quarterback: Kerry Collins (-4.9), Indianapolis Colts

If there’s any consolation it’s that Collins made some decent throws in garbage time. What’s that you say? It’s not. Well you’re right. Collins was a big part of why the Colts felt behind so early with a couple of fumbles proving costly.
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Running Back: Knowshon Moreno (-2.8), Denver Broncos

The ghost of Josh McDaniels is still haunting Denver. Fumbling, putting a pass on the ground and making the kind of cut that loses you yards negate any good work as a receiver. Moreno won’t be a Bronco for long with performances like this.
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Full Back: Moran Norris (-2.3), San Francisco 49ers

When was the last time you saw a full back get stood up so many times in the backfield? Made a couple of nice blocks but did not help his rushing attack.
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Tight Ends: Jared Cook (-2.8), Tennessee Titans

When you’re in the team because of your receiving you need to do better than one reception for seven yards with one dropped pass. His run blocking was not very good at all.
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Wide Receivers: Arrelious Benn (-2.5), Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Derrick Mason (-2.2), New York Jets

Benn already finds himself fighting to play in multiple receiver sets, and two dropped passes won’t help his cause to make this team. As for Mason, well that was disappointing. He was such a reliable target in Baltimore but looked out of sorts and out of place in New York.
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Tackles: Jonathan Scott (-4.4), Pittsburgh Steelers and Jeff Linkenbach (-7.7), Indianapolis Colts

Color me confused the Steelers haven’t managed to upgrade on Scott. He’s just not a good left tackle. It says something that his -4.4 grade was a best case scenario against Terrell Suggs who tormented him to the tune of two sacks, a hit and two hurries (he also gave up a further hit and hurry to others). The less said about Linkenbach the better. Mario Williams went around him at will.
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Guards: Stefen Wisniewski (-4.6), Oakland Raiders and Chris Kuper (-5.4), Denver Broncos

Are we mean in holding rookies to the same standards in week one? Possibly but such is life. It’s never good when you get as much TV time as Wisniewski and Kuper got in week one. But what do you expect when you combine for five penalties. Throw in Kuper giving up a sack and four more hurries, with Wisniewski having issues at the second level, and you have a made on Monday night partnership at guard.
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Center: J.D. Walton (-4.1), Denver Broncos

It could have been a lot worse as Walton made a horrible start to the game against the Raiders. When all was said and done he’s just not a match for Richard Seymour, John Henderson or Lamarr Houston in sub packages.
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DEFENSE (4-3 and 3-4 looks)
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Defensive Ends (4-3): Kroy Biermann (-3.1), Atlanta Falcons and Jeff Charleston (-3.2), New Orleans Saints

Quite the day for Biermann. A sack and interception won’t help you forget how poor he was in run defense, or how he did nothing else in the passing game (but give up a touchdown). Charleston was so bad he made the overrated Will Smith seem like an MVP candidate.
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Defensive Tackle (4-3): Antonio Johnson (-4.0), Indianapolis Colts and the entire Saints DT rotation (-8.7)

Johnson was the best defensive tackle the Colts had last year. He’s still poor. In this one he had Chris Myers school him for most of his 27 snaps. As for the Saints I simply couldn’t pick one. Between Sedrick Ellis, Shaun Rogers and Aubrayo Franklin they picked up a hit and a single hurry and also achieved practically nothing (two defensive stops) in the running game. They need to get better quick.
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Linebackers (4-3): Jonathan Casillas (-4.4), New Orleans Saints, Gary Brackett (-6.2), Indianapolis Colts and Quincy Black (-4.1), Tampa Bay Buccaneers

So Casillas is going to be a star of their nickel defense, huh? Well there’s a reason he’s only in nickel, and this performance is a reason he shouldn’t even be in that. So he picked up a sack (unblocked). He also missed a tackle and became a victim of Josh Sitton in the running game. Black just beats out Geno Hayes after giving up 81 yards and missing four tackles. In between them Brackett missed two tackles and was like a matador to the charging bull of Mike Brisiel. Only he couldn’t side step the right guard and got punished over and over again.
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Defensive Line (3-4): Aaron Smith (-3.9), Pittsburgh Steelers, Kelly Gregg (-2.1), Kansas City Chiefs and Luis Castillo (-3.7), San Diego Chargers

Injuries have really caught up with Smith. He did absolutely nothing in this game, other than be on the wrong end of a highlight reel block by Marshal Yanda. The Chargers won’t struggle all that much without the overrated Castillo, who’s more reputation than production at this point. Phil Loadholt looked a star when they matched up with him. Gregg may not have much left in the tank on this display; he made one good play and followed it up by missing a tackle.
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Outside Linebackers (3-4): Justin Houston (-3.2), Kansas City Chiefs and Connor Barwin (-3.1), Houston Texans

Houston is meant to be a complement to Tamba Hali. If this is to be the case he needs to up his work in coverage where he gave up all three balls that came his way. Barwin was that rarest of things: a player who performed badly against the Colts. He picked up a hit and a hurry but was bested by Anthony Castonzo in the running game.
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Inside Linebackers (3-4): Kevin Burnett (-4.3) and Karlos Dansby (-3.4), Miami Dolphins

That wasn’t pretty was it? Burnett and Dansby got worn out by the Patriots hurry up, leaving Burnett in particular exposed to getting dominated at the second level. The same can be said of Dansby who has never looked quite as ineffective.
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Cornerbacks: Rashean Mathis (-5.6), Jacksonville Jaguars and Nolan Carroll (-3.2), Miami Dolphins

Mathis just couldn’t make a play. His stat line of eight times thrown at and eight receptions given up for 137 yards and two touchdown isn’t helped by him falling over, but it was a poor performance by any standards. Carroll ‘earns’ this by getting his grade in just 32 snaps. It’s not easy giving up 103 on that snap count. Special mention to Benny Sapp who made one play to set up an INT, but then gave up more yards than any other player this week from the slot.
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Safeties: Reed Doughty (-6.5), Washington Redskins and Kendrick Lewis (-3.9), Kanas City Chiefs

Reed, what happened? Once the apple of our eye after a superb 2009 season, he managed to miss three tackles in this one and give up 93 yards in the air. As for Lewis, well anyone that saw his blown coverage will be wondering just how bad a pairing KC can put at safety with Eric Berry out.
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