Worst players at every position for Week 7
There has been a lot of bad football played this year. There are 18 teams below .500—one of those teams actually leads their division. Some of the primetime games have been nearly unwatchable.
Now, there is still great football out there. Plenty of teams are playing well, with lots of strong players that are turning in fantastic performances.
But you won’t find them here.
This is a roster full of players who really did not shine in Week 7; this is the PFF Worst Team of the Week.
(Editor’s note: Changes may be made following our review process, and once the Monday Night Football game has been analyzed and graded.)
Quarterback: E.J. Manuel, Bills (-9.2)
The Bills almost came away with a win yesterday, but it had very little to do with the play of Manuel. He was dreadful, completing 57.1 percent of his passes for 298 yards. It was his turnover plays that really set him back—especially that six play stretch in the second quarter where he lost a fumble that was returned for a touchdown, responded with an immediate pick-six, and then threw a second interception four plays after that. He had another fumble later on, and a throw that hit a defender right in the hands, but was dropped. It wasn’t a pretty game.
Running back: DeMarco Murray, Eagles (-2.4)
Murray had a tough showing in Sunday night’s game against the Carolina Panthers. Rushing the ball 18 times, Murray gained only 65 yards (3.6 yards per carry). Of those yards, 37 came after contact, and he failed to force a single missed tackle all game. He was even worse receiving, catching two-of-four passes for just 5 yards, and dropping the other two.
Fullback: Tommy Bohanon, Jets (-1.7)
Bohanon struggled to lead block any of the Patriots linebackers yesterday in the run game, and his grade reflects that. He allowed multiple run stops and finished with a -2.4 run block grade, the worst mark on the team.
Tight end: Ed Dickson, Panthers (-4.4)
Dickson’s receiving grade was pretty average, but that’s because he only ran six routes and wasn’t targeted. His run blocking, however, was well below average last night. Three times the Panther’s running back was forced to change direction because Dickson lost his block, on top of the multiple stops he allowed. His -3.4 run block grade is the single-reason he made this team.
Wide receivers: Brandon LaFell, Patriots (-3.2) and Jordan Matthews, Eagles (-2.8)
For anyone who watched the Patriots game yesterday, there was pretty much no doubt that LaFell was going to make this team after this performance. He was targeted eight times and caught two of them, for a mere 25 yards. But it was his five drops that really did him in. Matthews caught three of six targets for only 14 yards, with just one coming after the catch. He also dropped two passes.
Tackles: Chris Clark, Texans (-8.2) and Greg Robinson, Rams (-8.2)
Clark actually graded at +1.3 in run blocking yesterday, so that just shows you how badly he struggled at pass blocking. He finished with a -8.9 grade there, allowing three sacks and six QB hurries. He was also beaten an additional three times, but was saved due to a quick QB release. Robinson was much more evenly balanced: -4.3 pass blocking and -3.1 run blocking. Robinson only allowed one hit and one hurry, but looking deeper, he was beaten twice more, allowed another hurry that was called back due to penalty, and had two holding penalties. It was not a strong day for Robinson.
Guards: J.R. Sweezy, Seahawks (-6.3) and Andy Levitre, Falcons (-3.7)
Sweezy struggled mightily against the 49ers on Thursday night, finishing with a negative grade in all three blocking phases (pass, run and screen). He allowed one sack and four QB hurries when pass blocking, and was beaten over and over in the run game. Levitre was fine in the run game, but against the pass he allowed one hit and four QB hurries. He was also beaten three other times, and took a holding penalty on two of those.
Center: Trevor Robinson, Chargers (-6.5)
Robinson allowed a ridiculous seven QB hurries, and was beaten three other times in the pass game. He took a bad holding penalty and finished with a -4.5 pass block grade. Against the run, he was fairly average, but did allow a handful of run stops, including one important third down play.
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: Kendall Langford, Colts (-3.3) and Kendall Reyes, Chargers (-3.6)
Another week where two players with the same name make the team at the same position—very strange. (Even weirder, two Camerons made our Team of the Week as edge rushers.) However, there’s nothing strange about how below-average these two played. Langford had just one sack on 47 pass rushes, and was generally ineffective against a run game that rushed for 187 yards (5.8 yards per carry). Reyes didn’t record any pressures in 19 pass rushes, but his entire grade came because of his inability to get off blocks in the run game. He finished -3.6 in that category, too.
Defensive interior – tackle: David Parry, Colts (-6.4)
The Colts really struggled to stop the Saints’ rushing attack, and Parry’s -5.0 run stop grade definitely did not help. Max Unger pretty much had his way with Parry all game, as Parry finished with just one run stop. He also was invisible when rushing the passer, with zero pressures on 27 pass rushes. It was a tough day for that Colts’ defensive line.
Edge rushers: Melvin Ingram, Chargers (-5.5) and Kerry Wynn, Giants (-3.8)
Ingram was not effective rushing the passer, recording only three QB pressures, and two of those were plays where he went unblocked. He finished with a -1.7 grade there. He had an even tougher time against the run, being blocked all over the place, and finishing with no run stops and a -3.0 run defense grade. Wynn had zero pressures, zero defensive stops, and was basically invisible on the field, despite playing nearly 82 percent of the team’s snaps. The Giants allowed 233 rushing yards, and Wynn was an unfortunate reason why.
Linebackers: Perry Riley, Redskins (-5.8) and D’Qwell Jackson, Colts (-5.6)
Riley wasn’t targeted in pass coverage at all, but he really struggled when it came to stopping the run. He was consistently blocked out of the way, leaving huge holes for an offense that ran for 190 yards (6.3 yards per carry). He finished with a poor -5.2 run defense grade. Jackson had just one pressure on 15 blitzes, and was even more ineffective for a run defense that really struggled (see: other Colts on this team). He made just two run stops, and missed three tackles.
Cornerbacks: Bené Benwikere, Panthers (-4.0) and Johnthan Banks, Buccaneers (-3.9)
Both cornerbacks’ had remarkably similar stat lines in their games. Both were thrown at eight times and allowed seven receptions. Benwikere allowed 62 yards, while Banks allowed 66. Benwikere didn’t allow a touchdown, but he did surrender multiple first downs, and missed two tackles while in coverage. He missed another one against the run. Banks allowed a touchdown, but also had a pass defensed. He also missed three tackles, all of them in coverage. Despite not giving up a ton of yards, it was a tough day for both of these cornerbacks.
Safeties: Jimmy Wilson, Chargers (-3.8) and Trenton Robinson, Redskins (-3.8)
Wilson allowed all five of his targets to be completed for 87 yards and a touchdown. He missed two tackles on the day, made just one defensive stop, and generally struggled against a Raiders’ offense that was able to pretty much do whatever they wanted. Robinson (the third Robinson on this team) was only targeted twice, and he gave up both for 19 yards. But it was his four missed tackles on the day that really led to such a low grade—and his place on this team.
Kicker: Jason Myers, Jaguars
On a day where few kickers struggled, Myers makes this team thanks to a missed extra point, as well as some not-so-great kickoffs.
Punter: Steve Weatherford, Jets
Take away his longest punt of 50 yards, and the other three Weatherford punts averaged a mere 37 yards. On the day, his punts had a net yard average of 30.8, lowest in the league.
Returner: Griff Whalen, Colts
Whalen muffed a punt, fumbled on a punt, and fumbled on a kick return. Ball security is your friend, Griff.
For the best players at every position in Week 7, check out Khaled Elsayed’s Team of the Week.