Lowest-graded player at every position in NFL Week 12

Analyst Bryson Vesnaver reveals the lowest-graded player at every position in Week 12, including Bengals QB Andy Dalton.

| 3 days ago
Andy Dalton

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Lowest-graded player at every position in NFL Week 12


We’re all done with Week 12 in the NFL, and it’s hard to believe that there’s only five weeks of regular season football remaining. There have been a lot of great performances, but on the flip side, there have also been some poor ones. Once again, we take a look at the lowest-graded players at every position from this past holiday weekend of football.

Week 12 offense

Quarterback: Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals, 47.0 overall grade

It was a tough day for Dalton, who struggled passing the football against a strong Ravens defense. Dalton only threw two passes beyond 20 yards downfield, and missed on both of them. He particularly struggled when under pressure, completing just four-of-nine passes for 38 yards, including a couple of dangerous throws that could have been intercepted.

Running back: Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 45.5

Doug Martin’s stat line didn’t look too bad, carrying the ball 23 times for 87 yards. But he really didn’t create much for himself, either. Martin forced only three missed tackles, and averaged 2.3 yards after contact per carry. He also had a fumble.

Wide receiver: Josh Bellamy, Chicago Bears, 36.0

Bellamy was targeted nine times on Sunday, and hauled in only four catches for just 41 yards. Three of those incompletions were due to bad drops, including one potential touchdown that would have given the Bears a late lead.

Wide receiver: Steve Smith, Baltimore Ravens, 39.8

Steve Smith had some troubles for the Ravens on Sunday, as he saw just five targets all afternoon. He caught four of them, but gained a mere 20 yards, including just 3 yards after the catch.

Slot receiver: Cameron Meredith, Chicago Bears, 37.3

It’s unusual to see two receivers on the same team both end up on this list, but Meredith does just that. Like his teammate, Meredith was also targeted nine times. But he managed to haul in just two catches for 19 yards, and dropped four passes.

Tight end: Garrett Celek, San Francisco 49ers, 38.3

While Celek did catch a touchdown, that was about all he did for the 49ers this past weekend. He caught just two passes for 20 yards and dropped the only other target he saw. He also didn’t add much in his run blocking.

Left tackle: Ereck Flowers, New York Giants, 36.6

Flowers struggled equally with his run blocking and his pass blocking. When protecting his quarterback, Flowers allowed two hits and three hurries. In the run game, he gave up three run stops.

Left guard: Orlando Franklin, San Diego Chargers, 39.1

Most of Franklin’s grade resulted from his poor pass blocking. Thanks to his three hurries allowed, as well as a penalty and multiple other times where he was beaten, Franklin earned a 31.9 pass-blocking grade.

Center: Wesley Johnson, New York Jets, 36.2

Johnson wasn’t a great pass blocker for the Jets in the middle on Sunday, allowing a quarterback hit and two hurries. But he struggled more as a run blocker, and was a big reason the Jets rushed for just 64 yards on 23 carries.

Right guard: Jason Spriggs, Green Bay Packers, 31.7

Rookie Jason Spriggs wasn’t great as a pass blocker for the Packers, allowing four quarterback hurries and being beaten a few other times. But he was worse as a run blocker, allowing three run stops and losing his block more than a few times.

Right tackle: Ulrick John, Arizona Cardinals, 29.6

Ulrick John was absolutely overwhelmed trying to block Falcons edge rusher Vic Beasley. Overall, John allowed a sack, a hit, and seven quarterback hurries. He was also below-average in his run blocking.

Week 12 defense

Edge defender: Willie Young, Chicago Bears, 35.0

As a pass-rusher, Young had just three hurries on the day, and all three came as clean-up hurries. He failed to create anything on his own. In the run game, he wasn’t much better, more than once being blocked inside and losing his contain.

Interior defender: Domata Peko, Cincinnati Bengals, 35.8

Peko was completely invisible for the Bengals, failing to record anything of significance on the day, despite playing 41 snaps. No pressures, no stops, not even an assisted tackle: Peko was constantly handled by his blocker and failed to make any impact.

Interior defender: Akiem Hicks, Chicago Bears, 39.9

Hicks was hardly worse, as he played 57 snaps and came away with just one quarterback hurry. He also took a penalty. Hicks’ inability to clog the middle allowed the Titans to rush for 149 yards on 29 carries.

Edge defender: Erik Walden, Indianapolis Colts, 36.4

Walden wasn’t great at rushing the passer for the Colts, finishing with just one QB pressure for the game. But it was his poor run defense (33.5 grade) that allowed the Steelers to rush for 148 yards on only 29 carries on Thanksgiving.

Linebacker: Jelani Jenkins, Miami Dolphins, 29.8

It was a really tough coverage day for Jenkins, who allowed six catches on seven targets for 87 yards. But he wasn’t much better in the run game, either, failing to make a single stop. Overall, he missed four tackles on Sunday.

Linebacker: Deone Bucannon, Arizona Cardinals, 30.7

Almost the entirety of Bucannon’s grade came from his struggles in run defense. He was consistently sealed off at the second level and rarely was able to fill his gap. He finished with a league-low run-defense grade of 24.8.

Cornerback: LeShaun Sims, Tennessee Titans, 29.5

Sims had a tough day in coverage for the Titans on Sunday. He was targeted 11 times and allowed eight catches for 108 yards and a touchdown.

Cornerback: Bryce Callahan, Chicago Bears, 30.3

Callahan only played 22 snaps, and was targeted just four times, but he really struggled in those snaps. He allowed two catches—one 35-yarder and one 25-yarder. He was also beaten badly on a deep go-route in which he was bailed out by a bad throw. There was also a defensive holding penalty in there.

Slot corner: Leonard Johnson, Carolina Panthers, 30.3

Johnson allowed just three catches for 20 yards on five targets, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. He was beaten on a two-point conversion, as well as on another play in which the QB missed the throw, and he also missed three tackles on the day, earning a 20.0 run-defense grade.

Safety: Daniel Sorensen, Kansas City Chiefs, 36.5

Soresen found himself struggling in coverage for the Chiefs on Sunday. He was late in help a few times, and allowed a couple of catches as a primary coverage man. Both his pass-defense and run-defense grades were below 40.0.

Safety: Karl Joseph, Oakland Raiders, 36.8

Most of Joseph’s struggles came in the run game, where he finished with a 32.8 grade. The rookie was blocked out of almost every play in which he was providing support, and ended up with just one assisted tackle on the afternoon.

Week 12 special teams

Punter: Drew Butler, Arizona Cardinals

Butler averaged just 41.5 yards per punt, and managed to land just one of four punts inside the 20-yard-line, despite good positioning to do so more often.

Kicker: Dustin Hopkins, Washington Redskins

Hopkins missed a 43-yarder this past week, as well as a 55-yarder. No other kicker missed more than one field goal.

Kick returner: Jordan Norwood, Denver Broncos

Norwood muffed two punts for the Broncos on Sunday night, recovering just one of them.

| Analyst

Bryson has been an analyst at Pro Football Focus since 2014, and has also been a contributor to 120 Sports.

  • https://twitter.com/MALACHiOFCOURSE Malachi

    bears almost fielded a whole team off this list

    • crosseyedlemon

      I think even the team mascot was worried his grades would place him on the list.

  • Shoutout to all the guest

    as bad as the seahawks played on sunday id expect at least a few OL on this list….

  • Joe Doe

    I recall printing off a list of draft prospects per Bleacher Report prior to the 2015 draft and recall having to turn to page three (about 40 players per page) to find the Giants first round pick from that year. For some reason that really stood out to me. The only other player to stand out like that was Laken Tomlinson of Detroit. Both have had forgettable careers thus far unless, of course, you’re a Giants or Lions fan.

    • crosseyedlemon

      Redskins coach George Allen never made it a secret that he hated using high draft picks on rookies. The first player the Redskins drafted in 72 was Moses Denson – the 203rd overall pick.

  • Andy

    Quarterback grade: Russell Wilson, 36.5; The review must have bumped him up a lot

  • GBPFan12

    Eagles unleashed Fletcher Cox on Spriggs, that should help the rookie in the Long Run, go (mostly) 1 on 1 against a beast.