Lowest-graded player at every position in Week 3
Don’t worry Packers fans, Aaron Rodgers played his way off this team in Week 3 (actually headlining our Team of the Week). The quarterback replacing him may not be at the Packer’s level, but he did manage to set a PFF record versus the Chiefs. Everyone has a bad week from time to time, and each player on this list has a chance to bounce back in Week 4 (as evidenced by Rodgers).
Week 3 offense
Quarterback: Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets, 21.4 overall
After the way Carson Palmer played early in the day, there was no way any QB could play worse—right? Well, Ryan Fitzpatrick scoffed at that notion, and promptly delivered the single lowest-graded game any quarterback has ever earned in the PFF era. The Chiefs sat back in coverage, not blitzing, and forced Fitzpatrick to try and beat them on his own, which he could not do. He completed just 18-of-42 passes for 153 yards and five interceptions when he wasn’t blitzed. On passes over 10 yards downfield, he completed just 3-of-22 attempts for 75 yards and three picks. It was certainly a day Fitzpatrick would love to forget.
Running back: C.J. Anderson, Denver Broncos, 46.8
Sunday was tough for C.J. Anderson, as he managed to rush for just 37 yards on 14 carries. He averaged just 1.4 yards after contact per carry, and didn’t force a single missed tackle. When it came to receiving, he caught only one of his three targets for 4 yards, and also dropped one of those targets.
Wide receiver: Markus Wheaton, Pittsburgh Steelers, 40.1
Wheaton was incredibly ineffective for the Steelers in their tough loss Sunday afternoon. He was targeted five times, but hauled in just one of those for a mere 2 yards, a play for which he actually recorded -1 yards after the catch. Wheaton also had a dropped pass versus the Eagles.
Wide receiver: Walt Powell, Buffalo Bills, 41.6
Powell saw the same amount of targets (five) as Wheaton, but managed to catch three of them. He gained only 28 yards on those passes, however, and both of his incompletions were badly dropped passes.
Slot receiver: Quincy Enunwa, New York Jets, 42.7
Enunwa didn’t do Fitzpatrick any favors on Sunday, as he was targeted 11 times but only caught four passes for 37 yards. Of those seven incompletions, three of them were clear drops by Enunwa.
Tight end: Lance Kendricks, Los Angeles Rams, 37.8
Kendricks added nothing to the Rams’ passing game on Sunday, failing to catch any of his three targets, not including a dropped pass called back by a penalty. In the run game, he surrendered six tackles and was generally ineffective in that phase.
Left tackle: T.J. Clemmings, Minnesota Vikings, 33.4
Clemmings struggled in pass protection, allowing three quarterback hurries as well as being beaten on three other pass rushes. Against the run, he surrendered six tackles and a handful of other plays where he was blown up and allowed the play to be affected by his man.
Left guard: Chris Reed, Jacksonville Jaguars, 43.1
Reed allowed three hurries and a quarterback hit on Sunday, and also surrendered three tackles in the run game. He failed to record a positive block all game.
Center: Weston Richburg, New York Giants, 40.2
Richburg allowed a sack on the day, as well as four tackles surrendered in the run game. It was his two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, however, that saw him ejected from the game and really solidified his place on this team.
Right guard: Jordan Devey, Kansas City Chiefs, 41.2
Devey was beaten badly all game, even if his numbers don’t quite tell the whole story (two QB hurries, three run stops surrendered). Two of those run stops were big tackles for a loss, and he was frequently moved around and allowed his man to blow up plays.
Right tackle: Ty Sambrailo, Denver Broncos, 32.4
Sambrailo wasn’t very good at either pass protection or run blocking on Sunday. He allowed a sack, a QB hit, and four QB hurries (one was called back), as well two other times where he was beaten. He took a holding penalty and also allowed two run stops.
Week 3 defense
Edge defender: Jack Crawford, Dallas Cowboys, 37.8
Crawford played 44 snaps for the Cowboys defense on Sunday night, but he may as well have not played at all. He put up a big donut all across the board, failing to record a sack, a hit, a hurry, a stop, or even a single tackle.
Interior defender: John Jenkins, New Orleans Saints, 42.8
From his interior position, Jenkins failed to make any kind of impact in the run game. He was constantly moved out of the way by Falcons’ linemen, and was unable to clog up the middle at all. On the rare occasion that he did beat his block—just twice—he missed one of those tackles.
Interior defender: Jihad Ward, Oakland Raiders, 36.4
Ward also struggled to hold his own in the middle of the defensive line, as the unit surrendered 181 yards rushing on just 29 carries for the Titans, who averaged a ridiculous 2.9 yards before contact per attempt. Ward made just two stops on the day, but was mostly just moved away from the point of attack instead of filling it up.
Edge defender: Nate Orchard, Cleveland Browns, 38.2
Orchard was not quite as invisible as Crawford was at the edge position, but in 38 snaps, he managed just one clean-up hurry on the quarterback, and one defensive stop.
Linebacker: Ryan Shazier, Pittsburgh Steelers, 31.7
Much of Shazier’s low grade stems from his struggles in pass coverage. He was targeted five times and allowed four catches for 103 yards and a touchdown. 80 of those yards came after the catch, and he also missed a tackle.
Linebacker: Tahir Whitehead, Detroit Lions, 32.8
Whitehead struggled in the run game on Sunday, where he missed as many tackles as he made (two). More often than not, he was just sealed off at the second level and found no way to contribute.
Cornerback: Jason Verrett, San Diego Chargers, 33.8
Quarterback Andrew Luck had a perfect rating of 158.3 when he threw into Verrett’s coverage on Sunday. Verrett saw seven targets and allowed six completions for 138 yards and a touchdown, as well as a missed tackle on the afternoon.
Cornerback: Jalen Mills, Philadelphia Eagles, 34.0
Rookie Jalen Mills got a crash course in what it’s like to defend the best receiver in the league, as Antonio Brown took advantage of him to the tune of six catches on seven targets for 71 yards. Mills also allowed a 41-yard catch to Sammie Coates and a 32-yarder to Eli Rodgers.
Slot cornerback: Captain Munnerlyn, Minnesota Vikings, 41.4
Munnerlyn wasn’t quite at the level of Mills or Verrett in terms of struggles, but he still did allow six catches on seven targets from the slot for 87 yards.
Safety: Jaquiski Tartt, San Francisco 49ers, 38.0
Tartt struggled in coverage on Sunday, as he was late in help coverage multiple times and also had a missed tackle on the day.
Safety: Roman Harper, New Orleans Saints, 43.5
Much of Harper’s poor showing came against the run. He missed a tackle, took a horse-collar penalty, and was frequently sealed out of plays in which Falcons’ running backs gained big yards.
Week 3 special teams
Punter: Brad Wing, New York Giants
Wing had just three punts, but all three of those were returned. His net average of 28.0 yards per punt was one of the lowest of the week, and he failed to land a punt inside the 20-yard line.
Kicker: Roberto Aguayo, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Aguayo was fine with his kickoffs, but he missed both an extra point and a 41-yard field goal. Aguayo, a second-round pick in the 2016 draft, has made just one of three field goal attempts this season.
Kick returner: Tyler Ervin, Houston Texans
Ervin returned two kickoffs and gained just 33 yards, fumbling the ball on one of them. He also fair-caught a punt inside the 5-yard line.