Lowest-graded player at every position in NFL Week 17
The 2016 NFL regular season is officially in the books. We saw some truly special performances this season, on top of some truly forgettable ones. As we do every week, we now look at those forgettable performances for Week 17, putting together the final list of the lowest-graded players at every position.
Week 17 offense
Quarterback: E.J. Manuel, Buffalo Bills, 36.6
Manuel struggled mightily in his snaps as the Bills quarterback on Sunday. He didn’t complete a single pass (out of five attempts) when he was under pressure. On throws more than 10 yards downfield, Manuel went 3-of-12 for 43 yards.
Running back: Justin Forsett, Denver Broncos, 44.9
While Forsett’s 64-yard scamper early in the second quarter was certainly a big play, that was basically all he did this game. Take that run away, and he gained just 26 yards on 21 carries and forced only one missed tackle—oh, and he fumbled once.
Wide receiver: Robby Anderson, New York Jets, 40.8
Anderson saw seven targets in Week 17, and managed to haul in four of them for 43 yards. He gained just 6 yards after the catch, didn’t break a single tackle, and also recorded two dropped passes.
Wide receiver: Tavon Austin, Los Angeles Rams, 41.4
Austin capped off a relatively disappointing year with a performance in which he saw four targets and hauled in just two of them for 18 yards. Both of them were screen passes. He also fumbled the ball.
Slot receiver: Jamison Crowder, Washington Redskins, 43.6
Crowder was nearly invisible for the Redskins in their must-win game against the Giants. He saw just three targets and caught two of them, while dropping the other. He gained just 16 yards off of those two catches.
Tight end: Ryan Griffin, Houston Texans, 35.7
Griffin had just two catches for a paltry 10 yards for the Texans. He saw just two other targets in the game, dropping one of them and falling down on the other.
Left tackle: Ereck Flowers, New York Giants, 39.1
Flowers really struggled in the passing game, allowing five quarterback hurries (two were wiped out due to penalties, one of them his own holding penalty). He was beaten on two other pass-blocking plays, and also allowed a run stop.
Left guard: Jonotthan Harrison, Indianapolis Colts, 29.0
Harrison had an equal mix of run- and pass-blocking struggles for the Colts’ offense. He surrendered two quarterback hits and five other hurries in the passing game. In the run game, he allowed five defensive stops. He also took a holding penalty.
Center: Zane Beadles, San Francisco 49ers, 36.5
The 49ers struggled up the middle, and it started with Beadles. He allowed three hurries in the passing game, but was worse in the run game. His 37.5 run-blocking grade was the result of three run stops allowed and multiple disruptive plays.
Right guard: Joshua Garnett, San Francisco 49ers, 35.8
It was definitely a rough day for a 49ers offense that gained just 68 yards on 31 carries. Garnett finished with a run-blocking grade of 35.7, thanks in part to the four run stops allowed and holding penalty taken in the run game.
Right tackle: Earl Watford, Arizona Cardinals, 28.7
It’s not a huge surprise that a struggling guard moving to tackle struggled even more, and that’s what happened with Watford. He allowed a sack, two hits, and nine additional quarterback pressures. He also took two penalties.
Week 17 defense
Edge defender: Dee Ford, Kansas City Chiefs, 36.7
Ford was the final edge defender to pull off the infamous “defensive doughnut” by playing 57 snaps and failing to record a single pressure, defensive stop, or even a tackle. He was essentially invisible for the Chiefs’ defense.
Interior defender: Maliek Collins, Dallas Cowboys, 34.4
The Cowboys’ interior surrendered over 5 yards per rush on Collins’ side against the Eagles on Sunday. He was ineffective all game, constantly being blocked out of his gap and finishing the day with just one lone tackle.
Interior defender: Damion Square, San Diego Chargers, 38.0
Square was not good for a Chargers defense that struggled at times to stop the run. He didn’t make a single stop, and in fact, had just two tackle assists all game—nothing else.
Edge defender: Benson Mayowa, Dallas Cowboys, 37.3
Mayowa can thank one single tackle being the reason he did not also get the defensive doughnut, as he allowed a 9-yard catch in which he made the tackle on. Other than that, he made no noteworthy impact in the game over his 40 snaps.
Linebacker: Tahir Whitehead, Detroit Lions, 32.6
Whitehead struggled against the run for the Lions, being sealed off at the second-level and managing to make just one defensive stop all game while missing two tackles. He was also targeted five times in the passing game, allowing four catches for 33 yards and two touchdowns.
Linebacker: Alec Ogletree, Los Angeles Rams, 36.5
Ogletree was almost invisible for the Rams’ defense. He missed nearly as many tackles as he made (three tackles made to two missed) and found himself blocked out of plays on almost every single snap.
Cornerback: Briean Boddy-Calhoun, Cleveland Browns, 28.0
Boddy-Calhoun wasn’t great when covering receivers, giving up six catches on 11 targets for 106 yards and two touchdowns. He did have an interception and a pass breakup, however. He also missed two tackles and struggled in run defense.
Cornerback: David Amerson, Oakland Raiders, 32.9
Amerson allowed just four catches on six targets for 32 yards, which isn’t too bad by the numbers. But he missed three tackles on those catches, and also committed a pass interference penalty and a facemask penalty.
Slot corner: Don Carey, Detroit Lions, 29.0
Carey’s 29.0 coverage grade was the lowest among all corners this week, despite surrendering just three catches for 17 yards and a touchdown on five targets. He was beaten on both of the incompletions, and also took two defensive holding penalties.
Safety: Jarius Byrd, New Orleans Saints, 35.5
Byrd had a tough time in coverage for the Saints, finishing with a 40.2 coverage grade. But he really struggled in run support, evidenced by his 36.7 grade there. He often found himself blocked out of plays and failing to keep contain.
Safety: T.J. Green, Indianapolis Colts, 36.2
Most of Green’s grade came from his coverage performance, where he graded out at 36.5. He provided poor safety help on a couple of big plays, and also missed a tackle on the day.
Week 17 special teams
Punter: Shane Lechler, Houston Texans
Lechler punted just three times and averaged 47.3 yards per punt, which seems okay. But none of his punts were inside the 20-yard line, and all three were easily returnable. His net average of 33.7 was one of the lowest marks of the week.
Kicker: Graham Gano, Carolina Panthers
Gano missed three field goals for the Panthers, including a very-expected 36-yarder, a mostly-expected 45-yarder, and then a tough 54-yarder.
Kick returner: Bralon Addison, Chicago Bears
Addison had just one punt return on Sunday for the Bears—and he muffed it.