Worst players at every position from Week 12
Highlighting the worst individual performances by position from Week 12 of the NFL season.
Worst players at every position from Week 12
The Thanksgiving weekend of football is often the week where everything starts getting tougher. Big mistakes become that much more detrimental, with playoff races heating up. The best teams start playing well, and the not-so-great teams start falling off. Even the weather gets involved, as it did this past week, with snow and heavy rain in many games.
With every game being so important, individuals can’t afford to play poorly. Well, this list will highlight exactly those players, the ones who struggled the most in Week 12.
This is the PFF Worst Team of the Week..
(Editor’s note: Changes may be made following the completion of Monday Night Football, as well as upon the completion of our grades review process.)
Quarterback: Tony Romo, Cowboys (-6.7)
It seems a little mean-spirited to pick on someone who didn’t finish his game because of injury, but Romo was struggling the entire game before he was hurt. He completed barely more than 50 percent of his passes for just over 100 yards, and threw three poor interceptions. Most of his bad play came when he had a completely clean pocket, as he was 7-of-14 for 64 yards and two interceptions when he was not under pressure. He rarely even looked outside, attempting just four passes outside the numbers on either side all game, completing one of them for 10 yards.
Running back: Frank Gore, Colts (-2.4)
Gore rushed the ball 19 times and gained 24 yards. All of those yards came after contact, so it’s fair to give some blame to his offensive line. But as a running back, he’s expected to be able to do at least slightly better than that on his own. It doesn’t matter how good or bad your line is if you’re tackled as soon as you’re contacted for the first time. In the passing game, Gore caught two targets for just 13 yards—and dropped one.
Fullback: Michael Burton, Lions (-1.8)
It was a pretty decent week for fullbacks, as this grade is the worst of the bunch, but isn’t actually that bad overall. Burton just had a few negative plays blocking that put him in this spot.
Tight end: Ben Watson, Saints (-3.7)
Watson caught just four-of-eight passes thrown his way yesterday, gaining 53 yards. Two of those incompletions were bad drops by him. He also allowed a couple of run stops and a few other disruptive plays in this blocking game, which led to a lower grade.
Wide receivers: Demaryius Thomas, Broncos (-3.3) and Kenny Stills, Dolphins (-3.1)
Aside from his big catch on the last drive of regulation for the Broncos, Thomas did nothing else the entire game. That catch was his only one of the night, despite seeing 10 targets. Three of those were dropped, and on many others, he just didn’t look like he was giving much of an effort to make a play on the ball, waiting for it to come to him instead. Stills was also targeted 10 times, but caught two of those passes for a solid 12 yards. He also had two drops. Neither player forced a missed tackle.
Tackles: T.J. Clemmings, Vikings (-7.4) and D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Jets (-6.9)
Clemmings was not very good all day for the Vikings, and he finished with a negative grade in both run and pass blocking. In the run game, he allowed multiple run stops, and even more plays that forced his RB to change his point of attack. In the passing game, it was seven QB hurries and two other times beaten that did it for his grade. Ferguson actually had a +2.0 run blocking grade, but he allowed a sack, two hits, and six hurries. It was a very tough day for him pass blocking.
Guards: Ted Larsen, Cardinals (-6.9) and Andrus Peat, Saints (-5.9)
Larsen struggled almost as equally in pass protection as he did in run blocking. He earned a -2.8 pass block grade, thanks to a sack, a hit, and three hurries allowed. He also earned -3.3 run block grade, as he had a tough time opening holes all day. Peat allowed a sack, a hit, and four hurries, and took a couple of penalties that led to his low grade.
Center: Jamil Douglas, Dolphins (-7.5)
It was a day to forget for Douglas, who came on to replace Mike Pouncey, as he allowed two QB hits and two hurries, and was beaten a couple of other times when pass blocking. In the run game, he was hardly better, finishing with a -2.8 grade there thanks to three run stops allowed. He also misfired on multiple snaps, a few of which led to wasted plays.
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: Jaye Howard, Chiefs (-5.3) and Jurrell Casey, Titans (-5.2)
Howard had just one hurry when rushing the passer, failing to make much of an impact there. In the run game, he had just one stop. He also earned a roughing the passer penalty, and was offside on another. Casey had a remarkably similar game, as he also had just one hurry and one run stop. He also took two offside penalties.
Defensive interior – tackle: John Jenkins, Saints (-3.5)
Jenkins didn’t record a single pressure rushing the passer, but was maybe even more invisible in the run game. He finished with just one run stop, and was frequently taken out of plays by just one lineman. Not a great job by a defensive tackle.
Edge rushers: David Bass, Titans (-3.8) and Andre Branch, Jaguars (-3.7)
Bass failed to record a single defensive stop in the entire game. When rushing the passer, something he did 30 times, he finished with just two hurries. One of those was a cleanup pressure. Branch rushed the passer 43 times and finished with just one hurry—better than nothing, but still not good.
Linebackers: Paul Worrilow, Falcons (-6.6) and Shea McClellin, Bears (-6.3)
Worrilow was hard to watch for the Falcons, as he missed nearly as many tackles (five) as he made (six). Only two stops is not great, either; his -5.5 run stop grade was the lowest at his position. McClellin didn’t miss as many tackles (just one), but that’s because he was often just blocked out of the play and was not in a position to make a tackle at all. He also made just two defensive stops the entire game.
Cornerbacks: Antwon Blake, Steelers (-5.3) and Greg Toler, Colts (-4.6)
There were a lot of corners who could have made the team this week. Blake actually wasn’t that bad in coverage, allowing five-of-seven passes to be completed for 115 yards and two touchdowns. However, he had five missed tackles on the day, and finished with a -3.2 run defense grade, lowest among corners. Toler’s grade came entirely from his poor coverage, where he allowed six-of-nine completions for 93 yards and a touchdown. Every completion was either a first down or touchdown, and on one of the incompletions, he was beaten terribly on what should have been an 82-yard touchdown with an accurate throw.
Safeties: Patrick Chung, Patriots (-5.1) and Eric Weddle, Chargers (-3.7)
Chung wasn’t too bad in coverage, allowing four-of-eight receptions for 37 yards and a pass defense when he was the primary coverage man, earning a -1.9 grade. But he had a fair few poor plays in the run game, losing outside contain or getting blocked out of a play, leading to a -3.3 grade there, Weddle’s entire grade came from his coverage, the lowest among all safeties. When the primary cover man, he allowed six-of-seven catches for 86 yards and a touchdown.
Kicker: Connor Barth, Buccaneers
Barth missed an extra point and a 54-yard field goal (though not an easy kick) and failed to force a touchback on any of his kickoffs.
Punter: Tim Masthay, Packers
This was between either punter in this game, as the poor weather led to some bad punting. Masthay was slightly worse, averaging his 35.6 yards per punt and a mere 4.14 seconds of hangtime per punt.
Returner: Dwayne Harris, Giants
Harris muffed one punt and returned the other three for just 14 yards total, including a terrible decision to field a punt from basically his own goal-line to give the Giants poor field position on a potential game-winning drive.
Thanks to the support from Ohio Film Office.