Lowest-graded player at every position in NFL Week 10
Another week gone by, another sampling of performances to judge. While we saw some pretty incredible outings by some top-notch players, we also saw some less-than-stellar performances from others. Every week, we highlight the lowest-graded players at every position; this week’s roster is topped by Bears QB Jay Cutler.
Quarterback: Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears, 26.6
Cutler’s stats were boosted by a fluke Hail Mary touchdown, but otherwise he was very underwhelming on Sunday. Take away that throw, and he was just 15-of-29 for 132 yards and two interceptions. When Cutler was under pressure, he completed under 50 percent of his throws and had a QB rating of 61.2—which was actually better than his rating of 51.6 when the heat wasn’t on.
Running back: Isaiah Crowell, Cleveland Browns, 43.6
Crowell was very lackluster in his performance for the Browns, managing to gain just 23 yards on nine carries. Even more telling was that he gained a mere 7 yards after contact on those rushes, and failed to force a single missed tackle.
Wide receiver: J.J. Nelson, Arizona Cardinals, 38.2
This was a game to forget for Nelson, who turned six targets into just two catches for 29 yards. Only six of those yards came after the catch; he also dropped a pass and fumbled once.
Wide receiver: Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints, 39.7
Thomas caught four passes for 40 yards for the Saints, which doesn’t seem too bad. But he had a dropped pass, and fumbled twice. Not the ball-security day he was hoping for.
Slot receiver: Albert Wilson, Kansas City Chiefs, 44.5
Wilson played out of the slot, as he usually does, and failed to make much of an impact. He caught four-of-seven passes for just 25 yards on the day. He also had a big drop.
Tight end: Will Tye, New York Giants, 34.8
Tye was relatively average when it came to the receiving game, catching five balls for 53 yards with a dropped pass. But it was his 26.6 run-blocking grade that did him in, as he continued to play a big role in the Giants’ run-game struggles.
Left tackle: Dennis Kelly, Tennessee Titans, 33.6
Kelly had a tough time in the run game for the Titans, which is surprising, considering that they rushed for 164 yards on 30 carries. Kelly, however, allowed a couple of run stops, and also surrendered a few QB pressures when pass blocking.
Left guard: Caleb Benenoch, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 32.7
Benenoch struggled both in pass protection and when run blocking. He surrendered a sack, a hit, and three hurries against the pass-rush. In the run game, he managed to surrender up five solo run stops.
Center: Jeremy Zuttah, Baltimore Ravens, 40.1
Zuttah allowed just two QB hurries, but also was beaten a few more times in pass protection. He also struggled to establish holes in the middle of the line for the Ravens’ run game.
Right guard: Chris Chester, Atlanta Falcons, 37.3
While Chester wasn’t great when it came to run blocking, most of his problems came in the passing game. He gave up two hits and five hurries, as well as a couple of other plays where he was beaten.
Right tackle: Donald Stephenson, Denver Broncos, 30.9
A mainstay on this list, Stephenson struggled yet again, allowing two hits and four hurries while pass blocking. He also gave up a couple of run stops.
Week 10 defense
Edge defender: Muhammed Wilkerson, New York Jets, 36.0
After a very dominant four-year run, it’s tough seeing Wilkerson struggle like he has this season (44.4 overall grade through Week 10). But he managed just one hit when rushing the passer, and wasn’t any better in the run game. Wilkerson’s run-defense grade of 29.3 highlights how easily he was blocked out of his gaps.
Interior defender: Sheldon Rankins, New Orleans Saints, 36.5
Rankins failed to clog up the run lanes like the Saints would’ve liked him to on Sunday, and was constantly removed from his gap. Denver failed to really take advantage, but it could’ve been much worse, as the rookie managed to make only one solo stop.
Interior defender: Ahtyba Rubin, Seattle Seahawks, 39.0
Rubin also had a tough time in the run game; he failed to make any run stop, and was often sealed out of his gaps, allowing the Patriots to have success when they ran the ball in his direction.
Edge defender: Cliff Avril, Seattle Seahawks, 37.6
It was surprising to see Avril on this list, as he’s been having a solid season. But his pass-rush line consisted of just two hurries. His run defense? Not much better, as he failed to make a single stop and was often sealed off the edge.
Linebacker: Karlos Dansby, Cincinnati Bengals, 30.7
Dansby was asked to cover a lot in Monday night’s game, and finished with a very low 27.9 coverage grade. He surrendered five catches for 40 yards, but almost all of them went for first downs.
Linebacker: Chad Greenway, Minnesota Vikings, 31.8
Greenway wasn’t great in coverage, allowing four catches on five targets for 33 yards. But he really had a tough time in the run game, rarely making an impact. Greenway missed as many tackles as he made (two).
Cornerback: Logan Ryan, New England Patriots, 29.8
Tough sledding for Ryan, who was targeted frequently against the Seahawks—11 times actually, allowing six catches for 101 yards and a touchdown. On a few of those incompletions, he wasn’t exactly playing tight coverage, either.
Cornerback: Marcus Cooper, Arizona Cardinals, 31.3
Cooper gave up just four catches on five targets for 51 yards. All of those went for first downs, however. He also missed two tackles while in coverage.
Slot corner: Bobby McCain, Miami Dolphins, 28.8
McCain’s raw numbers don’t look awful: three catches surrendered on three targets for 47 yards. But those were all first downs, and he also earned three coverage penalties, as well as a facemask. Not a great day for the slot corner.
Safety: Kenny Vaccaro, New Orleans Saints, 33.3
Vaccaro had a game to forget in both run and pass defense. While he had an interception, he also surrendered five catches for 62 yards. In the run game, he made just one stop and was not great at coming up in support.
Safety: Dwight Lowery, San Diego Chargers, 33.5
Lowery was in a similar boat to Vaccaro. He struggled in pass defense, giving up three catches on the three targets he saw as the primary coverage man for 54 yards and a touchdown. But in the run game, he missed two tackles and failed to bring the support necessary from the safety position.
Week 10 special teams
Punter: Brad Nortman, Jacksonville Jaguars
Nortman punted just three times, averaging a measly 38.3 yards per punt. One was a touchback, one landed out of bounds, and one was returned for 57 yards, leading to a 12.7 net yard average.
Kicker: Blair Walsh, Minnesota Vikings
This might be adding insult to injury with Walsh’s release from the Vikings today, but on a solid day for kickers, he missed an extra point yet again.
Kick returner: Jakeem Grant, Miami Dolphins
Grant muffed two kicks—not much more to say than that.