Worst players at every position for Week 3
Every week we give you our team of the week, identifying the best players at each position.
This is not that team. Instead, this is the PFF Worst Team of the Week, full of players who struggled in a big way.
Here are our lowest-graded players at each position for Week 3.
(Note: Changes might be made following our review process and once Monday Night Football games have been analyzed and graded.)
Quarterback: Colin Kaepernick, 49ers (-7.9)
Yikes. A week after grading out as one of the better QBs in the league, Kaepernick struggled mightily against the Cardinals. He went 9-for-19 for a measly 67 yards, and threw two pick-sixes along with two other interceptions. It was not a good day for Kaep.
Running back: Justin Forsett, Ravens (-2.4)
Forsett was essentially invisible in his game, racking up only 13 yards on 10 carries. He didn’t force a single missed tackle. He was hardly better catching the ball out of the backfield, seeing six targets and catching just four of them for 16 yards and one drop.
Fullback: Malcolm Johnson, Browns (-2.6)
Our first repeat player for Worst Team of the Week! Johnson was blown up multiple times in the point of attack, and allowed a sack. It hasn’t been a good few weeks for Johnson.
Tight end: Tyler Eifert, Bengals (-5.8)
This one is a surprise, just considering how well Eifert had played the first two weeks. But when you’re only targeted twice and drop one of them (he didn’t catch the other one, either), allow a sack and a QB hit, and can’t block your man on run plays, you make your way onto this team.
Wide receivers: Brandon Marshall, Jets (-3.9) and Greg Jennings, Dolphins (-3.0)
When in doubt, throw it off of an Eagles defenders helmet. Or so Marshall thought he should do. Despite posting big numbers, Marshall had two big drops and two fumbles (including the aforementioned ill-advised lateral). Of his catches, few were anything more than expected plays. Jennings was much more invisible, seeing only three targets. He caught one of them, for 10 yards. But he dropped the other two. So welcome to the team, Greg.
Tackles: James Hurst, Ravens (-11.2) and LaAdrian Waddle, Lions (-9.5)
Hurst struggled both protecting the QB and blocking the run against the Bengals — the only two things he’s asked to do. He allowed a QB hit and five additional pressures, as well as six tackles for two yards or less in the run game. Waddle actually graded positively (+1.3) against the run. But when you allow a sack, a QB hit, and eight hurries, you make this team.
Guards: Jamil Douglas, Dolphins (-8.9) and Brandon Fusco, Vikings (-3.1)
Douglas struggled mightily against the strong Bills defensive line, allowing two QB hits and six pressures. He also had a hard time run blocking, allowing multiple tackles for two yards or less and generally having a hard time blocking anyone. It was actually a decent day for all RGs, as Fusco made this list despite allowing only a QB hit and two hurries. However, he was beaten two additional times on passes that were thrown before any pressure could take place.
Center: Russell Bodine, Bengals (-8.4)
Bodine only slightly struggled in pass blocking, allowing a sack and two hurries. However, he allowed five tackles for two yards or less in the run game, and was beaten enough that he had to take a holding penalty on another. Ravens nose tackle Brandon Williams gave him trouble all game. He also was the cause of a delay of game 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 (-3.6) and Cameron Heyward, Steelers (-3.5)
Cooper did not generate a single QB pressure on any of his 17 pass-rush snaps. Against the run he was blocked away from the play and was essentially invisible. He also jumped offside on a third down. Heyward was even more invisible rushing the passer, with zero pressures on 30 pass rushes. He, too, could not get involved in the run defense, as he was too busy being blocked.
Defensive interior – tackle: Tyson Alualu, Jaguars (-3.1)
He only had two hurries on 30 pass rushes, but where Alualu really struggled was against the run. He consistently lost ground against the Patriots’ offensive linemen, and was hardly involved in any play. He finished with just one solo stop.
Edge rushers: Emmanuel Lamur, Bengals (-4.2) and Nigel Bradham, Bills (-4.0)
Lamur is a cover linebacker, but he still had a tough time doing that yesterday. He allowed five catches on seven targets, three of them for first downs. He also missed two tackles that helped contribute to the 30 YAC he allowed. Bradham only rushed the passer 11 times, so having zero pressures isn’t a huge problem. But against the run he jumped offside once, missed a tackle, and twice over-pursued the play, allowing the running back to gain additional yards.
Linebackers: Paul Worrilow, Falcons (-8.1) and Anthony Hitchens, Cowboys (-3.9)
It was only a matter of time before Worrilow made his way onto this list, based on last year’s play. His coverage was not strong, allowing all 10 targets to him to be caught, for 115 yards. What’s worse is the 86 YAC he allowed on those plays. He also could not get off blocks in the run game, finishing with just one stop. Hitchens missed a tackle, made only two stops, and was generally taken completely out of plays by the Falcons’ offensive line.
Cornerbacks: Brandon Browner, Saints (-4.3) and Bashaud Breeland, Redskins (-3.5)
Browner allowed only four catches on five targets, but it was the fact that he was twice burned for 50-plus-yard receptions that puts him on this team. He also missed a tackle and had an illegal contact penalty (what else is new?). Breeland saw 10 targets his way, and allowed eight of them to be caught for 125 yards and two touchdowns. Eli Manning had a perfect passer rating when targeting Breeland.
Safeties: Jordan Poyer, Browns (-3.7) and Michael Griffin, Titans (-3.5)
Both safeties made this list thanks to poor run defense. Poyer missed more tackles (three) than he made (two). That alone sums up his game. Griffin missed a tackle, too, but it was the fact that he made zero solo stops and looked hesitant to even get involved in plays that put him on this team.
Kicker: Cody Parkey, Eagles
Parkey’s kickoffs were bad, as he was unable to force a single touchback on five kicks.
Punter: Jon Ryan, Seahawks
Ryan averaged only 41.5 yards per punt on four punts.
Returner: Bobby Rainey, Buccaneers
Rainey muffed two punts. That’s not good.