Worst players at every position for Week 3

Bryson Vesnaver IDs the worst-graded players at each position for Week 3.

| 1 year ago
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

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.

| Analyst

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

  • Runner1967

    The rams rushed for 25 yards on 13 carries. Yet you look at the grades of PS defense v the run? – 2.1. This is one of the reasons I can’t take PFF grades as seriously as some do. The Rams players had an overall positive run grade…face palm.

  • Douglass Pinkard

    Thank god for you guys. I bet my friend a Jets photo–or two–would make its way onto the site this week now that they’re on the losing side of a game. $25 like taking candy from a baby. Thank god for crushing predictability.

  • Jason Williams

    disappointed by lack of Bears on this list. Not that I watch the games as closely as you do…

    • crosseyedlemon

      We can be forgiven for missing some of the Bears bumbling plays Jason. After all it isn’t that easy to watch games when you have a paper bag over your head.

      • Jason Williams

        man we’re down to NO Saints territory now. Ugh.

        • Jaguars28

          You’ll be able to get Jared Goff in the draft, that’s a positive.

          • Jason Williams

            is Jared Goff an NFL franchise quality QB?

          • Jaguars28

            Better than Jay Cutler.

          • Jason Williams

            so is andy dalton but I don’t want him running my team. I want a Matt Ryan/Joe Flacco – caliber starter. Someone who will scratch the top 10 every 5 years or so and then have some off but not terrible years.

          • Mark F

            As a long time Denver Bronco fan, I was sooooo angry when he traded himself away. I didn’t realize at the time it was the best thing that could have happened.

          • Ezzy Black

            Surely you mean top 5. Both of those are pretty solidly in the Top 10 most every year.

          • Jason Williams
          • Ezzy Black

            Ahh, I see. That kind of seems a bit like judging a hitter by his strike-out to home-run ratio though.

            My comment was based on QBR and/or total QBR where both QBs always seem to be around the middle of the top ten.

            Flacco is really struggling so far this year, though Ryan is up around 4 or 5.

          • crosseyedlemon

            After giving Cutler the keys to the vault and getting burned I’d be surprised if the Bears front office would be anxious to risk going down that road again soon. They would probably be more inclined to go after the top defensive player available but a lot can happen between now and next years draft so we’ll just have to wait and see.

        • Ravensallday

          And Baltimore Raven territory.

    • derek lundeen

      as a bears fan i’d like to nominate Jimmy Clausen

      • Jason Williams

        I would agree with you but with the Bears down 20 in the 4th its not like they were running 4 verticals and trying to win. Jimmy Clausen was in a no-win situation. He played better than Kapernick against a tougher defense – that’s for sure.

      • crosseyedlemon

        If the Bears could talk QB Bobby Douglas into making a comeback they would at least have another rushing threat.

  • Tom Gateway Gdisis

    You forgot the entire Dolphin TEAM!!!

    • Jason Williams

      that game was laugh out loud hilarious. One of the highlights of my afternoon.

    • Jaguars28

      Where are all the Dolphin fans saying that last week was an aberration and that they would make the playoffs?

      • 1sb1

        Embarrassed to admit it, but I was one–right here.
        Have since changed my tune.
        We’re horrid.

        • crosseyedlemon

          Things could be worse….Jim Carrey could be with the Dolphins playing pet detective.

          • 1sb1

            “Laces Out!!”
            We need he-she Ray Finkle to spark the locker room!

  • crosseyedlemon

    As a Bears fan I must vehemently object to the exclusion of our players from this list yet again. Clearly the Bears have elevated their level of ineptitude this season to heights that few other teams can hope to obtain. Respect is due.

    • Robert Kellner

      Give them time to live up to your low expectations. After all, they just started trading the team away, right after week 3… not for players they need, but draft picks. The hopelessness will deepen before the end arrives.

      As a Packers fan, I really didn’t mind seeing Jared Allen move out of the division. I can respect that. You Bears fans gotta be realizing how good you had it with Lovie Smith…

      • Mac buckets

        Yeah just as good as we bucs fans have it now. Too many Chicago old guys here. Bucs need new young blood not guys like jennings or chris conte they sucked in chicago.

  • Jaguars28

    Just cut Alualu already. He does nothing but take away snaps from younger, more talented players.

  • Blyake Price

    Kyle Brindza?

  • Thinkaboutit

    49ers fans thought kap was god lol.

    • Raul Fender

      It made me sick. He got three touchdowns. Sadly, two were to the Cardinals. I can’t believe someone had a worse rating than him. He had just over a 2:1 completion (not td) to interception ratio, and 67 yards. He threw the opposite of a perfect game.

      • Ridgeback

        Last week he graded out well on PFF mainly because they don’t take into account when defenses are up by 30 points in the 2nd half and are just backing off.

    • osoviejo

      “49ers fans thought kap was god lol.”

      Well, they and Colin Cowherd.

      • Mac buckets

        He is good. Its the system. Even Terry Bradshaw said it. The 9ers have less weapons than the panthers. Tomsula not really an offensive genius. Hey the bucs will trade Kap for Jameis

    • Ezzy Black

      Remember when?

      “Uh, Alex (Smith) I know you’re 8-1 and all, but we’re gonna bench you for Kaepernick.”

      I was so pulling for a Chiefs-Forty-Niners Superbowl that next year. The potential for delicious karma was so high.

      • Mac buckets

        Alex smith is terrible. He stole the most money ever in a draft. Smith or Rogers. Hmmm.

  • tarniman

    how did brice mccain for the dolphins not make this list as a db?

  • Gregory Johnson

    Tampa Bays kicker is shaking his head……he even missed THIS list!…..

  • Will Crawford

    We’re all too depressed to read about the NFL. Also, we realize last week was very representative, unfortunately.

  • Josh Coryell

    What about Ryan Allen? The bum couldn’t even be counted on for a single punt.

  • Jhawar

    Why do you not offer premium stats to new subscribers? Why do you hate money?

  • cphilano

    Finally someone points this out about Worrilow. I watch the games and have a fit watching him react late to plays, run straight into blocks instead of filling his assigned gap on run plays or being embarrassingly trucked by all sorts of players, and thoroughly looking confused on pass plays. I can’t believe we let go of speed guys and kept him as middle linebacker. Yeah, he gets a lot of tackles, but if you watched those games over again, it’s usually credit for tackles that he makes chasing a player down after a yac, and that player had to slow down to avoid a safety. The Falcons would be even better if they got an athletic middle linebacker with some speed and awareness,

  • Mac buckets

    Why isn’t Gerald MCcoy, Levonte David, or Mr. Verner on this list of underperformers? I know the offensive unit has not helped with all the turnovers, but our run d has been non existent. If you are a no name runnig back you love to see TB on the schedule. Alfred Blue never ran for 100 even at LSU. LOVIE the seat is BURNING!!!

  • Mac buckets

    Why isn’t Gerald MCcoy, Levonte David, or Mr. Verner on this list of underperformers? I know the offensive unit has not helped with all the turnovers, but our run d has been non existent. If you are a no name runnig back you love to see TB on the schedule. Alfred Blue never ran for 100 even at LSU. LOVIE the seat is BURNING!!!