Worst players at every position in Week 17
As the regular season came to a close in Week 17, there were some truly great performances, but also some really poor ones, highlighted every week on this team. Those individuals who would rather forget their Week 17 outings are highlighted here, opposite, PFF’s Team of the Week.
These are worst individual performances, by position, in the final regular season outing of the 2015-2016 season.
(Editor’s note: Changes may be made following our review process and once Monday Night Football games have been analyzed and graded.)
Quarterback: Austin Davis, Browns (-7.1)
Probably not a surprise here, as Davis completed 24-of-46 passes for 240 yards and two interceptions. Two of the four sacks the Browns allowed were Davis’ fault, as well. It’s never a good sign when, as a quarterback, your numbers are better when under pressure than when not. Davis completed 7-of-13 for 94 yards when faced with pressure, and 17-of-33 for 146 yards and two picks with a clean pocket. He couldn’t push the ball downfield, connecting on just 6-of-17 throws for 117 yards on throws 10+ yards in the air.
Running back: Mike Gillislee, Bills (-3.3)
Gillislee had 24 carries and managed to gain a mere 24 yards, including only 18 yards after contact. His offensive line did him no favors on how quickly he was hit, but his 0.8 yards after contact per carry was the worst among all running backs this week. He forced just one missed tackle, and also fumbled once.
Fullback: Jerome Felton, Bills (-2.4)
Felton’s grade was entirely from his run blocking, which was poor. He allowed three run stops and one other disruptive play, and didn’t make any positive plays.
Tight end: Blake Bell, 49ers (-4.2)
Bell was invisible in the pass game, with only two targets on 25 routes run. He caught one of those for 5 yards. But it was his run blocking grade of -3.9 that put him on this list. He really struggled in that regard against that strong Rams’ defense.
Wide receivers: Darius Jennings, Browns (-3.8) and Quincy Enunwa, Jets (-3.0)
Jennings saw a ton of targets, but was unable to make much of a contribution to a struggling Browns’ offense yesterday. He caught 6-of-10 targets for just 45 yards, and also had three drops and a fumble. Enunwa was mostly invisible, catching one of four targets for 5 yards (a screen pass). He also had two drops, which came on back-to-back plays.
Tackles: Ereck Flowers, Giants (-9.9) and Donald Stephenson, Chiefs (-5.8)
Flowers wrapped up his place as the worst pass-blocking tackle in football this season with a doozy of a game, allowing a ridiculous two sacks, two hits, and 10 hurries. Stephenson had a rough day pass blocking, as well, though nowhere near that poor. He allowed one hit and five hurries, and was beaten a few other times. Both were fairly average blocking for the run, but their struggles pass blocking more than made up for it
Guards: Kenny Wiggins, Chargers (-8.7) and Erik Pears, 49ers (-7.4)
Wiggins’ pass blocking left a lot to be desired, as he finished with a -8.1 grade there. That was thanks to the one sack, one hit, and nine hurries that he allowed. Pears struggled in both pass blocking, where he was -4.6 thanks to two hits and three hurries, and in run blocking. He finished with a -3.0 grade there. Not great numbers for him.
Center: Lyle Sendlein, Cardinals (-6.0)
Sendlein allowed two hits and four quarterback hurries, and finished with a -5.1 pass block grade. He was better against the run, but still finished slightly below average at -1.0.
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: Ricardo Mathews, Chargers (-5.0) and Kendall Reyes, Chargers (-3.7)
It’s just so fitting that these two should both make the team in the final week of the season. Mathews finished with a -3.1 run defense grade and missed a tackle, while also failing to record a single pressure. Reyes also failed to record a pressure, and had a slightly-better-but-still-not-good run defense grade of -2.2. Tough end to a tough season for both of these guys.
Defensive interior – tackle: Ra’Shede Hageman, Falcons (-4.0)
Hageman had just one run stop, and missed a tackle, which helped contribute to his -3.0 run defense grade. He didn’t record a single pressure, and finished the day with a -1.1 pass rush grade.
Edge rushers: Bud Dupree, Steelers (-5.3) and Bobby Richardson, Saints (-5.2)
Dupree had just one quarterback hurry when rushing the passer, but most of his grade came from his run defense, where he graded out at -3.8. He made just two run stops on the day, and was frequently blocked out of plays and unable to get involved. Richardson was much of the same. He made one more run stop than Dupree, but also missed a tackle. He also failed to record even one single pressure when rushing the QB.
Linebackers: Malcolm Smith, Raiders (-4.4) and DeMeco Ryans, Eagles (-4.0)
Smith’s grade comes nearly entirely from his run defense, where he graded out at -4.1. That was thanks to making just two run stops, along with one missed tackle. He was unable to get off blocks at the second level all day, and just couldn’t get involved in plays. Ryans struggled in the run game, as well, missing a tackle and failing to record a single run stop. He also allowed a 21-yard completion on his only target in coverage.
Cornerbacks: Johnthan Banks, Buccaneers (-5.0) and Quandre Diggs, Lions (-4.7)
Banks allowed six catches on seven targets for 76 yards and a touchdown in coverage. He also missed two tackles in coverage, one of which led to the touchdown. Diggs was targeted five times, and allowed all of them to be caught for a ridiculous 131 yards and a touchdown. He also missed two tackles, one in coverage and one against the run.
Safeties: Jahleel Addae, Chargers (-3.9) and John Cyprien, Jaguars (-3.7)
Addae had a tough time in coverage, finishing with a -2.0 coverage grade. He struggled against the run as well, finishing with just one run stop and a -1.8 run defense grade. He missed two tackles on the day. Cyprien allowed all six targets he saw to be completed for 49 yards and a touchdown. He also missed two tackles in the run game, and was generally blocked out of plays, finishing with a -2.6 run defense grade.
Kicker: Chris Boswell, Steelers
Boswell missed a 48-yard field goal, and forced just one touchback on six kickoffs.
Punter: Ryan Quigley, Jets
Quigley averaged a mere 40.3 yards per punt, and landed zero of them inside the 20-yard line.
Returner: Bobby Rainey, Buccaneers
Rainey had just one punt return, which he fumbled. That makes it three returns in a row that he fumbled to close the season.