Worst players at every position from Week 16
The season is coming to a close, and we’ve seen some real good performances by a lot of great players. But we’ve also seen some really poor ones. People try to ignore those because nobody wants to glorify struggling players. But we’re here to let you know who played the worst at their position each and every week. This is the PFF Worst Team of the Week.
(Editor’s note: Changes might be made following our review process and once Monday Night Football games have been analyzed and graded.)
Quarterback: Johnny Manziel, Browns (-5.5)
Manziel was good when he scrambled yesterday, but was bad when asked to actually throw the football. His -9.8 pass grade is one of the worst we’ve ever recorded. When the Chiefs didn’t blitz and Manziel was forced to throw into coverage, he completed just 39 percent of his passes and averaged a mere 4.4 yards per attempt. He also threw a terrible interception and had two more bad passes that should have been intercepted. He looked uncomfortable all game long, and yesterday was not a good day for those who believe he’s made any significant development as a quarterback.
Running back: Kenjon Barner, Eagles (-2.4)
This comes solely from his poor receiving play. Barner was targeted three times — he caught one of them, which lost seven yards. He personally lost two of them by running backwards instead of forwards. The other two targets he saw? He dropped both of them.
Fullback: Will Tukuafu, Seahawks (-3.4)
Tukuafu was ineffective in his run blocking, finishing with a -1.8 grade in that regard. But he also had one carry, which he fumbled on. That’s what really got him on this list.
Tight end: Zach Ertz, Eagles (-2.4)
Statistically Ertz was a monster on Saturday night, catching 13-of-17 for 122 yards. But of those yards, he gained only 44 after the catch. He forced just one missed tackle despite all those receptions. Of those four incompletions, two of them were poor drops. And finally, he fumbled the ball. Not a great day for Ertz despite the strong numbers.
Wide receivers: Josh Huff, Eagles (-2.1) and Martavis Bryant, Steelers (-1.9)
These two finished with the worst receiving grades among all receivers this week, more because of how invisible they were. Huff played 44 snaps and was targeted just twice. He caught one for eight yards and dropped the other. Bryant played even more snaps (52) and saw three targets. He caught one of them (a screen pass) for six yards. But he dropped the other two. It was a day to forget for both of these players.
Tackles: Brent Giacomini, Jets (-5.9) and Ereck Flowers, Giants (-4.8)
Giacomini struggled pass blocking, allowing a sack, a hit and three hurries. But it was the multiple run stops and even more disruptive plays that he allowed in the run game that led to his place on this list. Flowers is here mostly due to his poor pass blocking (-4.4 grade, lowest among all tackles) thanks to the two hits and four hurries he allowed.
Guards: Matt Tobin, Eagles (-10.0) and Xavier Su’a-Filo, Texans (-4.2)
Tobin was actually not bad in his run blocking, finishing right around average. But when you allow a sack (nullified via facemask penalty) two hits and nine hurries, and are beaten three other times en route to a -8.8 pass block grade, you’re going to make this team. Su’a-Filo was much more effective, but still not effective. He allowed three hurries in the passing game, and struggled to open any holes to run through, finishing with a -2.8 run block grade on the day.
Center: Mike Person, Falcons (-5.6)
Person allowed just one hurry when pass blocking. But in the run game he struggled, finishing with a -4.3 grade thanks to the multiple run stops allowed. He also false started twice and took a holding penalty.
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 (3-4 defensive ends or defensive tackles) and two linebackers (all inside linebackers and 4-3 outside linebackers).
Defensive interior – ends: Xavier Cooper, Browns (-3.4) and Cameron Heyward, Steelers (-3.3)
Cooper played limited snaps, but still ended up with a -3.2 run defense grade. He was constantly blocked out of plays, and finished with just one run stop. Heyward was a little better in the run game, often being unable to get off blocks, but still finishing with five run stops. But he failed to record a single pressure in the pass rush game, finishing with a position-low -2.6 grade there.
Defensive interior – tackle: Montori Hughes, Giants (-4.6)
Hughes was invisible in his game, as he failed to record a pressure, a stop or even a tackle. He didn’t even miss a tackle. He was blocked out of every single play that he was involved in.
Edge rushers: Elvis Dumervil, Ravens (-3.2) and Jerry Hughes, Bills (-3.1)
Dumervil rushed the passer 34 times and recorded just two hurries, both of which were cleanup plays. He was no more effective in the run game, failing to get a single stop. Hughes rushed 29 times and had just one hurry, and it was a very late pressure. He also had no run stops, which isn’t a great number of them to have.
Linebackers: C.J. Mosley, Ravens (-4.8) and Manti Te’o, Chargers (-4.8)
Mosley’s grade comes almost entirely from his poor run defense. He had nine total tackles on the day, but only three of them were stops, and those were all in the passing game. Against the run he was just unable to get involved in anything early on in plays, which led to his poor grade. Te’o struggled in coverage, as all six targets he saw were completed for 58 yards. He also missed two tackles on the day, and finished with a poor run defense grade as well.
Cornerbacks: Justin Bethel, Cardinals (-2.8) and Brandon Browner, Saints (-2.7)
Bethel was targeted a ridiculous 14 times, allowing seven receptions for 75 yards. He had a pass defense, but also missed a tackle. He gave up multiple first downs, and also took a defensive holding penalty and a pass interference penalty. Most of the seven incompletions his way were the result of QB misses and not good coverage. Browner made this list despite, get this, taking no penalties (!!). However, he did allow 6-of-7 targets he saw to be completed for an insane 177 yards and two touchdowns. He also missed a tackle.
Safeties: Jaquiski Tartt, 49ers (-3.3) and Michae Thomas, Dolphins (-2.4)
Tartt’s spot on this team was due to his -3.8 coverage grade. He allowed three catches on three targets for 56 yards, all three of which went for first downs. He also missed three tackles in coverage, which is not good. Thomas was slightly below average in pass coverage, but it was his poor run defense and three missed tackles that really put him here.
Kicker: Travis Coons, Browns
Coons makes it here because his solid kicking (2-3, only miss was a blocked field goal) did not make up for his bad kickoff game, where he averaged just 63 yards per kick and forced zero touchbacks.
Punter: Brad Wing, Giants
Wing averaged just 40.2 yards per punt last night, and landed only two of six inside the twenty. When your best hangtime is just 4.60 seconds, it probably wasn’t a great punting day.
Returner: Bobby Rainey, Buccaneers
Rainey had two punt returns, both of which he muffed.