In an ideal world everyone would play to their best and we’d be left with nothing but praise to give to players.
This isn’t an ideal world.
For whatever reason guys don’t always play well in the National Football League. It may be that they lack talent, that they suffer from inexperience, or they may just be having one of those days. Regardless we’re here to hold them to account whether it be an undrafted free agent starting his first game, or a 10 time All Pro at the peak of his powers.
Let’s see who made the Had a Bad Day Team for Week 17.
(Note: This will be updated after Wednesday when All-22 footage helps us study plays in even more detail where needed with an asterisk noting any change.)
Quarterback: Joe Flacco, BAL (–6.8)
This was a fitting end to a terrible year for Flacco. He ended at less than 100%, but that doesn’t justify his three interception day while picking up just 192 yards on 50 attempts.
Dishonorable Mention: Kirk Cousins (WAS)
Running Back: Andre Brown, NYG (-2.7)
With a fumble number that equaled his yards per carry, Brown was an easy write in candidate here.
Dishonorable Mention: Roy Helu (WAS)
Full Back: Richard Brockel, CAR (-1.9)
Not a prominent part of the Panthers attack, he saw 20 snaps against Atlanta and it did not go well for him.
Dishonorable Mention: Cory Harkey (SL)
Tight End: Logan Paulson, WAS (-3.8)
The performances of Paulson, like this one, did nothing to make Redskins fans forget about what they’re missing in Jordan Reed.
Dishonorable Mention: Heath Miller (PIT)
Wide Receivers: Roddy White, ATL (-4.1) and Santana Moss, WAS (-3.3)
White had a big touchdown and 91 yards. He also dropped a terrible four passes in an effort reminiscent of his early years in the league. Each year could be the last for Moss at his age and if it is he’s not going out on a high with three drops.
Dishonorable Mention: Brandon LaFell (CAR) and Louis Murphy (NYG)
Tackles: Jared Veldheer, OAK (-3.8) and Derek Newton, HOU (-5.9)
Since returning from injury Veldheer has looked far from his best and will be hoping he gets his future sorted out and enjoys an injury free offseason. Newton may have played his way out of the starting lineup in Houston. A new coach with no ties to him may cut the cord.
Dishonorable Mention: Bradley Sowell (ARZ) and Austin Howard (NYJ)
Guards: Chris Williams, SL (-5.8) and Shelley Smith, SL (-3.8)
It wasn’t a great day for the Rams duo. Williams had to slide out to left tackle to end the game but his problems, much like those of Smith, started well before that. Both men were fodder for Brandon Mebane who bullied them all game long.
Dishonorable Mention: Andy Levitre (TEN) and Jeff Linkenbach (IND)
Center: Joe Hawley, ATL (-5.1)
There are very few certainties about the Falcons offensive line, and center certainly isn’t one of them. Hawley has kicked around the team for a while but by now you’ve been expecting more from him.
Dishonorable Mention: Eric Kush (KC)
Each week we put forward a hybrid defense that features two edge rushers (4-3 defensive ends or 3-4 outside linebackers), three players on the “interior” of the defensive line (defensive tackles or 3-4 defensive ends) and two linebackers (all inside linebackers and 4-3 outside linebackers).
Defensive Interior – Ends: Brandon Thompson, CIN (-4.3) and Fletcher Cox, PHI (-3.6)
It’s not easy filling in for Geno Atkins and after a solid start the Bengals third rounder from 2012 is finding that out with his sixth negatively graded performance in a row. Cox had a very quiet evening against the Cowboys and has failed to sustain his early season form.
Dishonorable Mention: Ahtyba Rubin (CLE) and Sen’Derrick Marks (JAX)
Defensive Interior – Nose: Jay Ratliff, CHI (-3.3)
The Bears brought Ratliff in for big games like the NFC North decider. Unfortunately it didn’t work out, with the team still struggling up the gut, and Ratliff providing little penetration.
Dishonorable Mention: Travian Robertson (ATL)
Edge Rushers: Jason Hunter, OAK (-3.2) and Mike Neal, GB (-3.1)
It hasn’t been the easiest conversion to outside linebacker for Neal who could pick up just the one hurry against the Bears. That was one more than Hunter who finished the day with as many penalties (one) as tackles.
Dishonorable Mention: Mathias Kiwanuka (NYG) and Mario Williams (BUF)
Linebackers: Kevin Burnett, OAK (-6.3) and Devonte Holloman, DAL (-6.6)
Burnett has been an excellent pickup for the Raiders but he had an afternoon to forget against a rampant Broncos offense. Holloman is no Sean Lee and it showed as he struggled in coverage, as he was often extremely slow to react.
Dishonorable Mention: Daryl Smith (BAL) and D’Qwell Jackson (CLE)
Cornerbacks: Zackary Bowman, CHI (-5.0) and Philip Adams, OAK (-3.3)
Bowman allowed 10-of-12 into his coverage to be completed for 98 yards as the Packers had a lot of joy against him. Meanwhile, Adams is the latest cornerback to be humbled by the Broncos.
Dishonorable Mention: Antonio Cromartie (NYJ) and Jimmy Smith (BAL)
Safeties: T.J. McDonald, SL (-4.0) and Chris Conte, CHI (-3.1)
McDonald missed two tackles and was a non-factor as the Seahawks cruised to victory over an ill disciplined Rams outfit. Still he’ll better about himself than Conte will today considering how the Bears season ended.
Dishonorable Mention: Thomas Decoud (ATL) and Glover Quin (DET)
Follow Khaled on Twitter: @PFF_Khaled