All “Had a Bad Day” Team, Week 5

| October 13, 2011

If everyone played well, where would the fun be in that?
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With that thought in mind it’s time to send out some appreciation to those players who were kind enough to play poorly in Week 5 and add some perspective to those other excellent performances that impressed us so much.
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Anyone buying that?  Or have you seen through and realized that for the next 1,500 words we’ll be slamming some of the worst performances from week five?  Either way here’s our “Had a Bad Day” Team of the week.
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OFFENSE
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Quarterback:  Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-1.9)
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Probably best to put Freeman’s day down as ‘one of those days’.  He just couldn’t get going against the 49ers.  Even including dropped passes and throwaways Freeman only completed 59.4% of passes, the fourth-lowest percentage this week.
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Running Back:  Beanie Wells, Arizona Cardinals (-2.6)
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Just 3 yards per carry and a fumble.  Says it all really as Wells put in his worst rushing performance of the year.
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Fullback:  Erik Lorig, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-2.4)
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Another Buc having a bad day.  Sam Monson looked at some of Lorig’s struggles in his take on the Bucs’ visit to Candlestick Park.
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Tight Ends:  Marcedes Lewis, Jacksonville Jaguars (-5.1)
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Normally so good one-on-one with defensive ends, Lewis looked less than ordinary against Cincinnati.  Six yards and one dropped reception in the passing game were the exclamation point on this selection.
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Wide Receivers:  Mike Williams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3.3) and Devin Hester, Chicago Bears (-1.0)
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A fumble and a dropped pass.  Not a good day for Mike Williams who isn’t getting quite the same amount of hype as he did in year one with some inconsistent displays.  Hester made one nice grab, but managed to lose yards and drop another pass.  Great special teamer, not so great receiver.
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Tackles:  Levi Brown, Arizona Cardinals (-6.4) and Frank Omiyale, Chicago Bears (-8.5)
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Brown had his typical terrible day against Jared Allen.  Two sacks, a hit and five pressures.  I wonder how Kevin Kolb feels knowing he has Brown protecting his blindside.  Credit to Omiyale, who accomplished the rare feat of playing badly enough to get benched by the Bears.  He gave up two sacks and four pressures (and a sack and hit nullified on penalties) in a horrible display.  Anytime you put J’Marcus Webb (and his three false starts) in the shadows you’ve done something extraordinary.
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Guards:  Wade Smith, Houston Texans (-9.6) and Cooper Carlisle, Oakland Raiders (-7.3)
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Wade was so bad that he managed to keep an atrocious performance from Nate Livings (-9.0) out of this team.  Fortunately he’s unlikely to play Richard Seymour again.  The Raider was too much for him to handle.  In the same game Carlisle gave up a couple of penalties, hits and pressures and did very little to help his team run the ball.  A bad game for guards (Mike Brisiel scored a -4.6).
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Center:  Jason Kelce, Philadelphia Eagles (-4.4)
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Not often your center will give up two hits and a pressure.  Kelce managed to pull it off, however, and wasn’t much help with his run blocking.
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DEFENSE
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Defensive Front Seven (4-3) 
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Defensive End:  Derrick Morgan, Tennessee Titans (-4.3) and Charles Johnson, Carolina Panthers (-3.0)
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Not often you’ll see Charles Johnson draw a blank on the pressure sheet.  And against Jermon Bushrod?  He was never so quiet last year. Morgan managed to pick up a hit, but looks over-matched in the run game.  He was part of the reason the Steelers offensive line looked so much better.
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Defensive Tackle:  Terrell McClain, Carolina Panthers (-4.3) and Fili Moala, Indianapolis Colts (-3.6)
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A Colts defensive tackle making this list?  All is right with the world, with Moala doing the square sum of nothing.  Not for the first time in his career either.  Rookie McClain picked up a pressure had a particularly tough time with Jermon Bushrod.  Not many players have had that said about them before.
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Linebackers:  Will Witherspoon, Tennessee Titans (-4.9), Barrett Ruud, Tennessee Titans (-2.9)  and JoLonn Dunbar, New Orleans Saints (-4.1)
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The Steelers all took turns in besting Witherspoon, but it was David Johnson in particular who made Witherspoon look so poor.  Dunbar is just the latest in a long line of Saints linebackers who fail to impress.  Two missed tackles contributed to that.  Here’s something to ponder Titans fans:  while Ruud was making this team of the week, Tulloch was playing near lights out in helping the Lions to 5-0.
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Defensive Front Seven (3-4) 
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Defensive Line:  Ziggy Hood, Pittsburgh Steelers (-3.3), B.J. Raji, Green Bay Packers (-0.9) and Corey Liuget, San Diego Chargers (-1.9)
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I’m a little bored of writing how underwhelming Ziggy Hood has been.  He picked up a hit and two tackles that came on offensive wins … and nothing else.  He’s just not a good player.  On the other side, Liuget has failed to make any impact, and he continued this theme against the Broncos.  Raji makes this list because there really weren’t any terrible performance from any nose tackles this week.
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Outside Linebackers:  Clark Haggans, Arizona Cardinals (-5.5) and Lawrence Timmons, Pittsburgh Steelers (-2.7)
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Haggans’ renaissance stopped abruptly against the Vikings when faced with the man mountain that is Phil Loadholt.  Timmons is one of the best inside linebackers in the league.  He is not one of the best outside linebackers in the league.  The Steelers managed to damage two positions by moving him outside.
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Inside Linebackers:  Desmond Bishop, Green Bay Packers (-2.7) and Takeo Spikes, San Diego Chargers (-2.4)
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Bishop and Spikes had rare poor outings, not missing any tackles, and the only noticeable negative mark on the stat sheet came on a TD Spikes gave up on a screen pass.  But they didn’t have the normal flow to the game we’re used to seeing, with Spikes looking particularly caught off guard by the Broncos’ running scheme.
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Cornerbacks:  Jacob Lacey, Indianapolis Colts (-6.5) and Ronde Barber, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-4.0)
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If Jim Caldwell did want to start Justin Tryon over Lacey then he at least knew how to evaluate talent.  Lacey had a shocker in Week 5, missing two tackles in addition to the three penalties, 79 yards and one touchdown he gave up.  Ronde Barber’s hot start to the season got cold quickly, missing two tackles and giving up a touchdown.
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Safeties:  Chris Harris, Chicago Bears (-5.4) and Michael Griffin, Tennessee Titans (-3.9)
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This combo could spark an offense more so than any quarterback could.  On one hand you have Chris Harris who took some of the worst angles you’re likely to see, and on the other, Michael ‘hungry for play action’ Griffin.  Seriously, is there a worse player in the league when it comes to biting on fakes?
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