You can miss lots of tackles; throw lots of picks; give up lots of pressure; ensure you’re quarterback is pressured … in general, you have to suck pretty badly.
So look at how you’ve performed this week, know that in most cases you can do better, and do your best to make sure I’m not writing about you next week.
For now though, here’s our team of guys who just had a bad day with their Week 6 performance.
Quarterback: Rex Grossman, Washington Redskins (-6.4)
Was this ever in doubt? He completed just nine passes to his Redskins teammates, while having four balls picked-off. That’s the kind of performance that earns you a benching.
Running Back: Montario Hardesty, Cleveland Browns (-4.0)
These past two weeks Hardesty seems to be doing his best to make Peyton Hillis seem more valuable to the Browns organization.
Fullback: Tyler Clutts, Chicago Bears (-3.0)
He’s not on the team for his ball handling, but that’s no excuse for him to put the ball on the ground. His blocking also earned our lowest grade for a fullback. Not such a good week.
Tight End: Donald Lee, Cincinnati Bengals (-4.3)
Is Lee meant to be the blocking specialist for the Bengals? You wouldn’t have guessed it on this showing. His two penalties given up hurt as well.
Wide Receivers: Brian Hartline (-1.8) and Davone Bess (-1.8), Miami Dolphins
Not quite a dynamic duo, with Hartline dropping three balls to make Matt Moore’s statsheet look as bad as his actual performance. Bess continued his poor season by fumbling a ball away. He hasn’t looked like the same player who has impressed us the past three years.
Tackles: Jeff Backus, Detroit Lions (-5.5) and Jeremy Trueblood, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-6.6)
When a left tackle gives up three sacks, a hit and seven pressures, you know he’s had a bad day. Take your pick of Smith’s, but whether it was Aldon or Justin, Backus was overmatched. The less said about Trueblood the better. Terrible in pass protection. Terrible with his run blocking. A waste of money.
Guards: Will Rackley, Jacksonville Jaguars (-5.5) and Chris Spencer, Chicago Bears (-5.1)
So that answers the question if Chris Spencer’s failures at center were because he was playing out of position. Just not good enough wherever he plays. I commend the Jags for keeping patient with Will Rackley, but he’s just not good enough right now to be on an NFL field. Another game, another day of struggles. He’s now given up a sack in every game he’s played in.
Center: Phil Costa, Dallas Cowboys (-6.3)
When a center scores a -6.3 you know he’s played very badly. Makes that decision to get rid of Andre Gurode look all the more foolish right now.
Defensive Front: 4-3
Defensive Ends: Will Smith, New Orleans Saints (-3.6) and Dwight Freeney, Indianapolis Colts (-2.4)
Freeney drawing a blank on the pressure sheet? It’s not often you’ll see that as Andrew Whitworth did to Freeney what so many have dreamed of. Smith had one of those games where he just didn’t do anything. And he’s usually so impressive against Donald Penn.
Defensive Tackle: Brian Price, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3.6) and Aubrayo Franklin, New Orleans Saints (-2.7)
After a strong start to the year, it seems as if Price is starting to wear down after a tough rehab process. Though playing against talents like Carl Nicks and Jhari Evans can make anyone look off their game. Franklin seemed like such a good idea on paper, but the prototypical nose tackle hasn’t taken to the 4-3 in a consistent manner. Shame.
Linebackers: JoLonn Dunbar, New Orleans Saints (-3.0), Jonathan Vilma, New Orleans Saints (-2.2) and James Anderson, Carolina Panthers (-2.2)
Dunbar is continuing a fine tradition of Saints linebackers in that he isn’t getting off blocks and is missing tackles. The prototype for that type of player is Vilma, who, although he missed no tackles, got hammered by FB Erik Lorig. It was more of a surprise to see Anderson miss three tackles, as he’s normally better than that.
Defensive Front: 3-4
Defensive Line: Randy Starks, Miami Dolphins (-2.9), B.J. Raji, Green Bay Packers (-2.2) and Stephen Bowen, Washington Redskins (-2.5)
That’s not the what we’ve come to expect of either of our defensive ends. Just the one combined pressure, and plenty of problems in the run game. Bowen in particular is really struggling to justify his price tag. A rare bad game from Raji, who isn’t quite playing up to the level we saw from him over the first few weeks of the season. Credit a Rams interior for that.
Outside Linebackers: Jamaal Westerman, New York Jets (-3.8) and Cameron Wake, Miami Dolphins (-2.6)
The Monday Night Snoozefest saw some pretty bland outside linebacker play. Westerman managed a sack and a hit (though he owes his sack to a QB running into him), which is more than can be said for Wake. Freeney and Wake blanketed on the same week, what world are we living in?
Inside Linebackers: Rocky McIntosh, Washington Redskins (-4.6) and Keith Brooking, Dallas Cowboy (-1.2)
So why did the Redskins re-sign McIntosh? Bad in coverage, bad in run defense. He gave up all five balls thrown at him, including a touchdown. Brooking is getting older and looks incredibly pedestrian compared to the more active Sean Lee. 36 snaps may not seem like a lot, but it appears too much for him.
Cornerbacks: Drayton Florence, Buffalo Bills (-5.9) and Dimitri Patterson, Cleveland Browns (-4.9)
At least Patterson has an excuse. He’s a slot corner (at best) being used woefully out of position. As for Florence? Well he may never play that badly again, as he gave up all six balls thrown his way, as well as three penalties. Oh and he missed a tackle. He’ll need to regroup after that.
Safeties: Louis Delmas, Detroit Lions (-5.3) and Dashon Goldson, San Francisco 49ers (-3.5)
It wasn’t just the three missed tackles from Delmas. No it was the poor angles he took on a number of runs that earned him this grade (as well as giving up a touchdown). Goldson’s selection may be a little harsh, but re-watching how he is completely baffled by Nate Burleson’s double move for that touchdown means he gets on this list. What was he thinking?