There would be endless praise and we’d all get pretty sick of the niceties and smiles. No, we want some good honest truths about the guys who dropped passes. Who couldn’t get any pressure. Who missed tackles.
That’s what the ‘Had a Bad Day’ Team is here to do, and that’s what it will do as it brings you the NFL’s worst performances from Week 9.
Quarterback: Christian Ponder, MIN (-5.5)
Brandon Weeden actually walked away with a lower grade, but he at least resembled an NFL quarterback for portions of his game. Ponder managed just 27 yards in the air to his receivers and struggled despite his running game working so well. No quarterback looks as limited.
Running Back: Willis McGahee, DEN (-2.9)
That was as plodding as McGahee has looked in Denver, averaging just 2.9 yards per carry and forcing just the one missed tackle.
Full Back: Lousaka Polite, ATL (-3.4)
While the dropped pass didn’t endear him, it was his work with his lead blocking that earned him such an unwanted selection.
Tight End: Jordan Cameron, CLV (-3.3)
He was flagged for a penalty (which would be declined), didn’t catch either of the two passes that went his way, and was guilty of some poor run blocking. Not a good effort in 26 snaps.
Wide Receivers: Early Doucet, ARZ (-3.0) and Dexter McCluster, KC (-1.5)
A rough day for Doucet who saw only 20 snaps and four targets but managed to drop three passes. With Michael Floyd lurking he’ll find opportunities hard to come by. McCluster wasn’t nearly as bad but had two drops (one of which ended up as an interception) and picked up only 17 yards on his six targets.
Tackles: Jake Long, MIA (-5.5) and Tyler Polumbus, WAS (-5.7)
Long was honest enough after the game to admit he’d had problems and it was evident for all to see. That was as bad as he’s ever looked and won’t have helped his agent’s negotiating strategy. Still he wasn’t quite as bad as Polumbus, who gave up three sacks and seven hurries as Charles Johnson ran wild on him.
Guards: Mike Brewster, JAX (-4.4) and Mike McGlynn, IND (-3.9)
The undrafted free agent looked physically overmatched against the Lions, who just bull-rushed the life out of Brewster to the tune of two hits and four hurries. McGlynn did his best to make us look foolish, responding to his All AFC South midseason team inclusion with a five hurry surrendered day.
Center: Jeff Faine, CIN (-2.5)
Oh Kyle Cook, Bengals fans never knew they loved you so. Jeff Faine continues to prove a big time dropoff.
Defensive Front 4-3
Defensive Ends: Chris Kelsay, BUF (-3.4) and Red Bryant, SEA (-3.3)
Duane Brown swallowed up Kelsay and moved him at will when they were matched up in the run game. Bryant just couldn’t get anything going against a Vikings offensive line that got him moving in directions he didn’t want to move.
Defensive Tackle: Letroy Guion, MIN (-4.6) and Tommy Kelly, OAK (-5.1)
Guion struggled with zone blocking of the Seahawks, who were able to run through some decent size holes as all the Viking could do was watch. Kelly had similar problems, in so much as his only interaction with the stat sheet was a missed tackle. No assists, no hurries, no anything.
Linebackers: Miles Burris, OAK (-4.2), Paul Posluszny, JAX (-5.1) and Mychal Kendricks, PHI (-4.9)
Posluszny gave up two penalties and continues to look like a different player from this time last year. Burris picked up two quarterbacks hits but was part of a Raiders defense that struggled to handle Doug Martin. He missed four tackles himself. The hot start to the year that Kendricks had has quickly evaporated, and that continued against New Orleans.
Defensive Front 3-4
Defensive Line: Dontari Poe, KC (-0.7), Haloti Ngata, BLT (-2.4) and Antonio Smith, HST (-2.1)
Poe wasn’t terrible by any stretch, but he was the worst of a good bunch of nose tackles. Ngata and Smith both managed two hurries but were strangely quiet given how much they were on the field.
Outside Linebackers: Sam Acho, ARZ (-3.7) and Brooks Reed, HST (-2.5)
Reed will need to do more if he’s going to hold off Whitney Mercilus, and registering just one pressure all game isn’t that. Acho only picked up one hurry. What can we say. We like our 3-4 outside linebackers to bring some pressure.
Inside Linebackers: Perry Riley, WAS (-3.1) and Larry Foote, PIT (-5.2)
Not a showcase of how to play inside linebacker from Riley, highlighted by his two missed tackles. Larry Foote made only one defensive stop and couldn’t get anything done against Martellus Bennett and Henry Hynoski.
Cornerbacks: Derek Cox, JAX (-5.3) and Josh Wilson, WAS (-4.1)
The only thing Cox didn’t do was give up a touchdown as he allowed eight of nine balls into his coverage to go for 121 yards (while missing two tackles). Wilson did give up a touchdown, as well as two penalties, while allowing 109 yards (though 82 of them came on one play). He’s played better than this.
Safeties: Michael Griffin, TEN (-3.1) and Roman Harper, NO (-3.1)
Griffin reverted to form as he allowed two touchdowns and gave up a penalty. Harper didn’t help his cause with two missed tackles and allowing four of five balls into his coverage for 66 yards.
Follow Khaled on Twitter: @PFF_Khaled