10 worst individual performances from Sunday’s Week 3 action

Carson Palmer and Ryan Fitzpatrick rank among the players who stood out for the wrong reasons on Sunday.

| 4 weeks ago
(Tom Szczerbowski, Getty Images)

(Tom Szczerbowski, Getty Images)

10 worst individual performances from Sunday’s Week 3 action

Every Tuesday, PFF will be releasing its list of the lowest-graded players at each NFL position for that week. But Senior Analyst Sam Monson gets a jump on that by picking out 10 individual performances from Sunday’s games that stood out for just how bad they were.

Here are the 10 worst performances from Sunday’s Week 3 action:

[Check out the 10 best performances from Sunday of Week 3 right here, or access our Player Grades tool to see how every NFL player measures up through three weeks of the season.]

1. Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, New York Jets

There isn’t a whole lot to say about this performance other than it was the worst single-game grade we have given a QB over the past 10-plus seasons of grading. (We said more about it here.) When under no pressure at all, Fitzpatrick had a passer rating of 10.5, threw four picks and had an average of just 3.5 yards per attempt. You won’t often see a player follow up an appearance on the Team of the Week with one on the Worst Team of the Week, but that’s what Fitzpatrick has managed to do in Weeks 2 and 3 of the 2016 season.

2. Ty Sambrailo, T, Denver Broncos

Injuries forced Denver to put Sambrailo back into the starting lineup, and it did not go well. Against the Bengals Sambrailo coughed up a sack, a hit and a hurry as well as being flagged once, and grading poorly in the run game. The Broncos averaged 0.75 yards per carry when running on either side of his blocks.

3. Ryan Shazier, LB, Pittsburgh Steelers

After an excellent performance in the first game of the season, Shazier has regressed back to poor play, struggling in coverage against the Eagles in particular. He was in primary coverage on five targets, four of which were caught for 103 yards and a touchdown, as he was the chief victim of Eagles running back Darren Sproles out of the backfield.

4. Carson Palmer, QB, Arizona Cardinals

Palmer was nearly as bad in Arizona’s loss to Buffalo on Sunday as he was in the NFC title game collapse against Carolina last season that ended Arizona’s Super Bowl bid. When pressured, Palmer’s passer rating was 63.2, but that was actually more than double the 31.1 he posted when not pressured at all. All four of his interceptions came without being hurried on the play, and his poor decision-making sunk the Cardinals in this one.


5. Jason Verrett, CB, San Diego Chargers

Verrett came into this game having effectively shut down Jaguars star wide receiver Allen Robinson the previous week, but he couldn’t come close to the same trick against Indianapolis’ T.Y. Hilton, who gashed him for big yardage. In this game Verrett gave up a total of 138 yards and a touchdown, and when targeted, he allowed a perfect passer rating of 158.3.

6. Jalen Mills, CB, Philadelphia Eagles

Making a seventh-round rookie cornerback cover Antonio Brown is just not fair, and Mills was predictably not up to the task in Philadelphia’s win over Pittsburgh. Brown beat him for seven catches and 89 yards on the eight targets sent his way, but Mills also gave up a catch every time he was targeted when covering both Sammie Coates and Eli Rogers, surrendering a total of 164 yards in the game. The Eagles coaches really didn’t do Mills any favors.

7. Jihad Ward, DT, Oakland Raiders

When the opposition is able to average 6.2 yards per carry on the ground, the run defense has been a problem, and Raiders rookie lineman Ward was one of the biggest weak links in the chain for them in their close win over Tennessee. Ward was consistently moved from the point of attack and simply couldn’t anchor against the Titans’ line, getting smashed back and allowing big gains all day.

8. T.J. Clemmings, T, Minnesota Vikings

On this evidence at least, it doesn’t seem that the Vikings have answered their problems at left tackle by inserting Clemmings into the lineup. He picked up where Matt Kalil had left off, surrendering three hurries in the passing game and failing to hold up his end of the bargain as a run-blocker, despite playing against a Carolina defensive front that has been poor so far this season.

9. Mark Barron, LB, Los Angeles Rams

Barron graded below-average in every facet of the game PFF measures in the Rams’ close win over the Bucs. He was beaten on blocks in the run game, on screens, could only generate one unblocked pressure on 11 blitzes, and gave up plays in coverage in what was an all-around bad day at the office.

10. Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Carolina Panthers

Last week Benjamin was the Panthers’ hero against the 49ers, catching seven passes for 108 yards and two touchdowns. Against the Vikings he was blanketed so thoroughly he was only even targeted once, and that pass was broken up by CB Marcus Sherels – a player giving up six inches in height and 65 pounds in listed weight to Benjamin. As if that wasn’t bad enough he was also flagged twice and beaten as a blocker in the run game.

| Senior Analyst

Sam is a Senior Analyst at Pro Football Focus, as well as a contributor to ESPN.

  • Craig W.

    Sad. TJ Clemmings wasn’t great, but I feel like the Vikings didn’t miss Kalil. If they can get anything out of the O-Line this team will be impossible to stop.

    • enai D

      Yeah clemmings certainly wasn’t any worse than Kalil. And this was a fairly curious selection for this list, since Andre Smith appeared to be playing alot worse yesterday than anyone else on the OL, including Clemmings.

      • whatguythatguy

        Feels like they tried to include a variety of positions here. Blaine Gabbert not making this list is astounding. He was so bad he tried to handoff a ball to a non-existent RB and also hit one of his own receivers in the head with the ball. That said, Brian Hoyer was actually worse last night vs DAL.

        • enai D

          The bar for crappy performances by a QB was set particularly high this week- nobody, not even Gabbert, had much of a chance of topping Fitzpatricks 6 INT/2 defensive TD performance… And naturally the guy I was playing this week in fantasy had the Chiefs defense (totally negating the fact that I had the Vikings D)! Lol…

  • crosseyedlemon

    No Bears on the list for 2 weeks running so I can only assume they are holding Sam’s loved ones hostage.

    • Rolo Tomassi

      Ayyy fuuuny
      Aron Rogets
      Ah haha

    • [email protected]

      You could put Jay Cutler on the list every week for poisoning the team with his bad attitude, poor play and lack of toughness. Is there anybody who enjoys playing football less than Jay Cutler?

  • https://twitter.com/MALACHiOFCOURSE Malachi

    no grades tho?

  • Kari Wahlen

    Amazing how Clemmings makes this list with Bradford only getting sacked twice and yet no one from Carolinas O line appears here neither does Oher. Perhaps you should watch Oher’s performance on Hunter’s safety. Lol. I will be the first to admit I am a Vikings homer, but seriously????

  • John

    I am not surprised that Sambrailo is in this discussion (I am a Denver fan). I wasn’t a fan of that pick when it was made.

  • ICDogg

    Mills? He was part of a defense that held a typically high scoring offense to THREE POINTS. It was his 2nd start and he’s repeatedly on an island with an amazing receiver and was targeted regularly AND THE STEELERS DIDN’T SCORE. How is this a “worst performance”?