And so we come to the final “Had a Bad Day” Team. For these guys there’s no chance at regular season redemption. Instead they’re left to simmer and stew until the 2012 season comes around and they can show me I was wrong.
For the 2011 regular season is done with. Finished. No more. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to let people get away with mailing it in or stinking it up to close the season. It doesn’t matter if you’re on your way to the Pro Bowl, if you have a higher power in your corner, or if you’re an overmatched rookie, I’m coming for you and I’m bringing my accountability stick to tell you what’s what.
That waffle aside, here’s the Week 17, Had a Bad Day Team.
Quarterback: Tim Tebow, DEN (-6.1)
You know, a completion percentage of 27.3% really says it all. Looks like he is going backwards right now.
Running Back: Kahlil Bell, CHI (-3.2)
Bell can make things happen–he forced five missed tackles–but he can’t fumble like he did and he needs to do more with the ball in his hands.
Fullback: Lawrence Vickers, HOU (-2.1)
When Vickers hits you it hurts. Problem is he doesn’t always do so and can get in his running back’s way at times.
Tight End: Matthew Mulligan, NYJ (-3.8)
Had the big 41-yard reception but also had three penalties and gave up two hurries. Not great.
Wide Receivers: Ben Obamanu, SEA (-2.1) and Brian Hartline, MIA (-2.5)
Hartline made just the two catches while dropping two balls. Obomanu bettered him with three receptions … and three drops. Their 53 yards combined was not enough to look past this.
Tackles: David Diehl, NYG (-6.9) and Lance Louis, CHI (-7.6)
I can’t fathom what makes people so scared to point out the blindingly obvious: David Diehl is not a good football player at this moment in time and is the turnstile of tackles. John Abraham could be in for a very big day. Louis is playing out of position and it shows; Brian Robison dominated him with the sack and five pressures he gave up actually flattering the Bears right tackle.
Guards: Stefan Wisniewski, OAK (-7.1) and Anthony Herrera, MIN (-5.6)
That’s as bad as rookie Wisniewski has ever looked as he was killed in the run game on a continual basis. Herreras’ problems came in pass protection against an active Bears defensive front.
Center: Mike Pouncey, MIA (-4.6)
When you’re a center in the AFC East, you can expect to deal with some big nose tackles–Pouncey has really struggled in this regard and is an area he’ll need to improve on.
4-3 Defensive Front
Defensive Ends: Jabaal Sheard, CLE (-4.3) and Justin Tuck, NYG (-3.7)
Tuck had a strip sack when the game was near enough over, but for most of the game he was getting manhandled as the Cowboys ran it. Sheard looked like someone who has played too many snaps this year–sure he had a sack and flashed his talent, but too often he was moved about. Given only three defensive ends have played more snaps than him, that’s not all that surprising.
Defensive Tackle: Tyler Brayton, IND (-3.9) and Ndamukong Suh, DET (-3.9)
Brayton looked like a defensive end trying to play tackle against the Jags. As for Suh? Well at least he didn’t stomp on a Packers guard. That’s something right?
Linebackers: Geno Hayes, TB (-3.9), Mason Foster, TB (-3.1) and Kamerion Wimbley, OAK (-4.0)
Hayes managed to miss three tackles as his horrible year finished in fitting fashion. Wimbley, who had his greatest day as a pro against the Chargers last time, didn’t fair quite so well without Brandyn Dombrowski to pick on. Just the one pressure and no defensive stops. Mason Foster may not miss as many tackles as his Buccaneer teammates but he is excellent at being pushed out of plays. Heck, sometimes he doesn’t even need to be pushed he just takes himself away from the action voluntarily. Rookie lumps and then some.
3-4 Defensive Front
Defensive Line: Calais Campbell, ARZ (-3.2), B.J. Raji, GB (-3.5) and Vaugh Martin, SD (-2.8)
Martin is the kind of player who does one or two things a game that makes you excited about his potential. Except this week where he did nothing. Campbell, we must presume given recent history, went into Week 17 hurt. How else do you explain such a poor effort from such a normally talented player? Raji had fun leaning on the Lions linemen in the kind of display we’ve become accustomed to seeing from the fridge freezer. He is undoubtedly hugely talented, but is there a more overrated player in the league right now than the Packers’ NT?
Outside Linebackers: Vic So’oto, GB (-2.9) and Frank Zombo, GB (-2.5)
You can throw Erik Walden into the mix as well because whoever the Packers put at linebacker produced very little. In fact between all three they managed a sack and two hurries, and just two defensive stops in the entire game. If the Packers want to get better this offseason, ROLB is the place to start.
Inside Linebackers: Brian Cushing, HOU (-0.9) and Na’il Diggs, SD (-0.7)
I’d rather put both men in the ‘had a slightly below average’ day team, but we don’t have one of those and I’m forced into putting some people in these spots. Such is life.
Cornerbacks: Kevin Rutland, JAX (-4.8) and Terence Newman, DAL (-3.7)
Rutland gave up 10 receptions as he looked every bit the 1,342nd player the Jags have used at cornerback this year. Newman looks pretty much done at this point–he couldn’t cover the Giants’ receivers and ended up giving up 174 yards while missing three tackles. Horrid.
Safeties: Reggie Nelson, CIN (-4.4) and Tanard Jackson, TB (-3.8)
Earlier in the year we praised Nelson and I’m sure Jacksonville fans thought we must have been talking about a different Reggie Nelson. Well we’re probably on the same page now after he looked lost against Baltimore. Still, at least he didn’t miss three tackles like Tanard Jackson. He missed three and made one, and gave up a touchdown. A year off makes you rusty, but is it really that hard to comeback and play football?