But in a show of courage I am that guy to hold them all to account, and it’s with that fake bravado I bring you a bunch of players who just had a bad day during Week 2 of the NFL season.
Quarterback: Joe Flacco, BLT (-4.3)
After his strong Week 1, Flacco faltered under pressure, completing just 35.7% of passes when pressured against the Eagles. With his selection to this team come the questions about whether he can be consistently good enough to be an elite quarterback.
Running Back: Darren McFadden, OAK (-3.8)
While Ryan Williams almost made the team for that fumble alone, the inability of McFadden to get anything done in the ground game (2 yards per carry average) coupled with two dropped passes get him the nod.
Full Back: Le’Ron McClain, SD (-2.8)
When McClain lead blocks like this it’s easy to see why some would rather use him as a running back.
Tight End: Owen Daniels, HST (-4.4)
It wasn’t just his poor run blocking that earned him a spot on this team, but dropping two catchable balls meant that Daniels failed to deliver in a game that seemed primed for him.
Wide Receivers: Dez Bryant, DAL (-3.3) and Julio Jones, ATL (-2.4)
The stat sheet doesn’t lie as Bryant dropped a pass, fumbled a ball, and ended up with only 18 yards as the Cowboys faltered. As for Julio Jones, he has these kind of performances in him and his end zone drop was crucial in the Falcons not being able to kill off the Broncos.His 14 yards were the just rewards for a big dropoff from his Week 1 performance.
Tackles: Michael Harris, SD (-7.5) and Willie Smith, OAK (-3.8)
The stat sheet will tell you that Harris didn’t give up a sack. It will say the same thing about Smith as well. If you watched both men play you’d know why sacks allowed can be extremely misleading. Take Harris who was flagged for two penalties and gave up an astonishing 10 hurries as he reminded Charger fans of Brandyn Dombrowski. Smith had to replace Khalif Barnes, and after giving up a pressure on the first hurry was always on the back foot (without any hope of anchoring).
Guards: Seth Olsen, IND (-4.0) and Ramon Foster, PIT (-4.9)
The Colts seem to have a unique ability to field below par linemen. Taking center stage this week was Olsen who gave up three hurries, a penalty and found it tough going against the Vikings. Foster was always in line for a tricky day and so it proved as Sione Pouha and Mike Devito were too powerful for him.
Center: Jeff Faine, CIN (-7.3)
Remember when Faine was the highest paid center in the league? It’s been a fall from grace since then, but against Cleveland he may have hit rock-bottom. The two hurries he gave up don’t tell the whole story, with John Hughes especially tormenting him.
Defensive Front 4-3
Defensive Ends: Derek Wolfe, DEN (-2.7) and Adrian Clayborn, TB (-2.2)
There were no truly terrible displays this week, but Wolfe’s blank on the stat sheet highlighted his lack of impact on Monday Night Football. For Tampa Bay they’ll no doubt be worried by how Clayborn is struggling to have much of an impact on games. Two hurries and no tackles isn’t a great return for a player who should be imposing himself on games.
Defensive Tackle: Henry Melton, CHI (-3.6) and Sione Fua, CAR (-3.3)
At his best Melton is one of the most penetrating tackles in the league. At his worst he’s someone that talented guards like Josh Sitton can maneuver at will. More performances like this from Fua and he won’t be the only defensive tackle the Panthers drafted in 2011 to be let go.
Linebackers: Lavonte David, TB (-3.3), Brian Urlacher, CHI (-3.3) and Justin Durant, DET (-2.8)
It’s not like David doesn’t make plays. It’s just when you balance the good up against the bad, there’s a ‘good play’ deficit that smacks you in the face. The 49ers put Durant in a position he didn’t want to be in; coverage. A talented player in traffic, in space we saw him miss two tackles and give up a touchdown. We admire the effort from Urlacher to play through injury, but there comes a time when he’s hurting the team more than he would be off the field.
Defensive Front 3-4
Defensive Line: Ziggy Hood, PIT (-3.2), Casey Hampton, PIT (-2.7) and Vaughn Martin, SD (-2.5)
Being double-teamed out of a play isn’t a skill, but if it was, maybe we’d understand the constant defense of Hood. As it is when he is afforded one-on-one opportunities, as he is on a regular basis, he fails to make any impact, drawing one of his famed blanks on the stat sheet. It was a similar story for Martin who, with Kendall Reyes lurking, may be heading to the bench soon. In the middle Hampton doesn’t look like the player he once was, with injury and age catching up with him. Nick Mangold is always a tough task, but the days of needing to double No. 98 appear over.
Outside Linebackers: O’Brien Schofield, ARZ (-3.8) and Ahmad Brooks, SF (-1.4)
While Sam Acho has made some progress this year, Schofield just doesn’t appear to have the explosiveness to generate a great deal of pressure. That’s not a problem for Brooks, who picked up a sack, hit and hurry, but in a strong week for 3-4 outside linebackers his issues in the run game mean he lands on this team.
Inside Linebackers: Larry Foote, PIT (-3.2) and London Fletcher, WAS (-1.9)
The quiet day of Foote was in part down to his inability to get off the blocks of bigger linemen at the second level. The artist formerly known as LFB didn’t have the worst game with seven tackles and an interception, but with two touchdowns allowed and just two defensive stops, there was more bad than good.
Cornerbacks: Buster Skrine, CLV (-6.8) and Nate Clements, CIN (-3.8)
How badly did the Browns miss Joe Haden? Skrine gave up 8-of-9 balls thrown into his coverage for 94 yards while also missing three tackles. Ouch. From the same game Clements had a couple of missed tackles of his own that added to a blown coverage that resulted in a touchdown, and get him a spot on this team.
Safeties: Laron Landry, NYJ (-4.1) and Jeromy Miles, CIN (-3.1)
Two games in and two late hits from Landry. He may be trying to impress his new employers but he’ll get himself a reputation if he’s not careful. With two missed tackles and one of the worst angles you’ll see taken all year, Miles’ time as a starter may be coming to an end.
Follow Khaled on Twitter: @PFF_Khaled