Worst players at every position for Week 5

Kam Chancellor and Nick Foles make our list of the worst players at every position for Week 5.

| 2 years ago
(AP Photo/Scott Eklund)

(AP Photo/Scott Eklund)

Worst players at every position for Week 5

Everyone highlights the best players every week (including us). It’s far less common to celebrate those who played poorly, however. Luckily, the PFF Worst Team of the Week is here once again, highlighting the players who didn’t put up numbers to be proud of on Sunday.

(Editor’s note: Changes might be made following our review process, and once the Monday Night Football game have been analyzed and graded.)

Quarterback: Nick Foles, Rams (-8.4)

Foles went 11-for-30 yesterday. That’s a 36.7 percent completion rate, one of the worst you’ll ever see. He only managed 141 yards. He threw four terrible interceptions. Under pressure, he was an abysmal 5-for-17 for 110 yards. It was not an easy day for Foles, and as such, he more than earned a spot on this team.

Running back: C.J. Anderson, Broncos (-1.8)

The season of disappointment continues for Anderson, with another clunker on Sunday. After all the hype from last season, Anderson has now run for 139 yards total in five games. Yesterday, he had 11 carries and gained 22 yards. He did force one missed tackle, but the 2.0 yards per carry is really all that needs to be said for him making it onto this team.

Fullback: Cory Harkey, Rams (-2.7)

Harkey was struggling at lead blocking for the Rams rushing attack. He was beaten multiple times for tackles, and even more often, was unable to get any movement on Packers defenders. The Rams definitely expected more than what Harkey produced yesterday.

Tight end: Martellus Bennett, Bears (-4.4)

Finally, a tight end makes the team due to his poor receiving, as compared to the usual poor blocking. Bennett was targeted a team-high 11 times in the Bears’ game yesterday, and he managed to catch only four of those passes. Only two of them were pure drops, which is still not good. Even worse than all of that, Bennett managed to gain only nine yards after the catch, an incredibly small number.

Wide receivers: Golden Tate, Lions (-2.2) and Brian Hartline, Browns (-2.0)

Tate was targeted a ridiculous 15 times by Lions’ quarterbacks, and hauled in eight of them for 74 yards. He dropped one pass and only gained 36 yards after the catch. He also fumbled, which is a big no-no. All in all, a rough day for Tate and the Lions. Hartline was nearly invisible for the Browns, seeing only three targets. He caught one, dropped one, and the third he couldn’t control all the way to the ground. Oh, and his lone catch was for 5 yards on a screen.

Tackles: Charles Leno Jr., Bears (-10.8) and Marshall Newhouse, Giants (-4.9)

Leno Jr. struggled mightily in his second start for the Bears, and what’s interesting is that he was near equally bad at run blocking (-4.3) as he was at pass blocking (-5.8). He didn’t allow a sack or a QB hit, but did allow seven QB pressures, which is a lot. He also lost his block on 10-of-27 run blocks, and even when he didn’t lose it, he only cleanly won one block in the run game. It truly was a rough day for him. Newhouse wasn’t as bad, as the majority of his grade comes from his struggles in pass blocking (-4.2). He also allowed seven QB pressures, a QB hit, and twice was called for holding. It wasn’t a day he’ll be proud of.

Guards: Jamon Brown, Rams (-8.7) and Jamon Meredith, Titans (-3.7)

Two guards named Jamon on the list? What a nice little coincidence. But there was nothing nice about Brown’s play yesterday. He allowed two QB hits, and two more pressures, but that isn’t even the worst of it. He had a -5.7 run block grade, and was beaten 14 times on running plays. It was a rough day all around for the Rams’ offensive line, and Brown by far had the most issues of the bunch. Meredith actually graded positively in pass blocking, but a -5.1 run block grade really did him in. He was constantly whipped around by that Bills’ interior, and really got nothing going for a run game that struggled.

Center: Marcus Martin, 49ers (-5.8)

Martin struggled equally with pass and run blocking in the 49ers’ game yesterday. He posted a -3.0 pass block grade (thanks to one QB hit and three QB hurries, all of the “beaten in less than three seconds” variety). He also had a -2.9 run block grade, thanks to multiple times where he was unable to open up any holes for Carlos Hyde and the 49ers’ run game.


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: Randy Starks, Browns (-4.4) and Kendall Langford, Colts (-3.3)

Starks rushed the passer 25 times and recorded zero pressures. But that wasn’t even the worst of it, as he made very few positive plays against the run. On multiple occasions, however, he was blocked completely out of the play to open a hole for a very successful Ravens’ run game. Langford had one QB hurry, but he had to rush the passer 33 times to get it. He also missed what would have been his only tackle of the game.

Defensive interior – tackle: Domata Peko, Bengals (-2.9)

Peko was invisible rushing the passer, but he only had 11 rushes, so that’s not a huge negative. However, he was unable to get off his block on nearly every rushing play the Seahawks ran. He finished with only one defensive stop and two tackles. He also had a key offside penalty on a third-and-long.

Edge rushers: Mario Williams, Bills (-4.8) and Za’Darius Smith, Ravens (-4.6)

It wasn’t a great day for Mario Williams. He rushed the quarterback a ridiculous 41 times, and came away with only one sack (unblocked), one hit, and one hurry (unblocked). Not good. Against the run, though, he didn’t have a single positive play. Instead, he was pretty much average, with a handful of times that he was cleanly and badly blocked out of the play. As for Smith, he rushed the passer an even more ridiculous 46 times, and came away with a big goose-egg in terms of any kind of QB pressure. Not the kind of performance that any team should expect out of a pass rusher.

Linebackers: Keenan Robinson, Redskins (-8.2) and Nate Palmer, Packers (-6.7)

This was a bad day for a lot of inside linebackers, but these two take the cake in terms of the worst performances. Robinson was an absolute mess out there, consistently unable to beat any blocks in the run game. When he finally had chances to make tackles, he missed four of them. That’s a huge number, and that’s why he’s on this team. Palmer missed only one tackle, but was generally invisible in the run game. His worst play involved him jumping in the complete wrong direction, allowing Todd Gurley to break off a 55-yard run right where Palmer should have been.

Cornerbacks: Tim Jennings, Buccaneers (-6.1) and Morris Claiborne, Cowboys (-4.8)

Jennings was targeted 10 times, and allowed seven catches for 123 yards and two touchdowns. Not a great day at the office for him. He also missed two tackles and had a pass interference penalty. Claiborne was targeted far less, only four times. But, he allowed all four to be completed, and even worse, allowed 80 yards after the catch. When your average catch allowed goes for 30 yards, you definitely didn’t have a great day.

Safeties: Kam Chancellor, Seahawks (-4.6) and John Cyprien, Jaguars (-3.1)

Chancellor was picked on significantly in the passing game, and clearly for good reason. He was targeted 11 times and allowed nine receptions for 102 yards and a touchdown. He also missed four tackles, which is really bad. Cyprien mostly struggled in the run game, getting blocked out of plays or missing tackles (two of them). He only allowed one catch on one target, but it was a 56-yard gain on a screen that was originally caught 4 yards behind the line of scrimmage.

Kicker: Travis Coons, Browns

Coons is  here solely for his bad kickoffs. On seven of them, he forced only one touchback, and on average didn’t even kick it to the end zone (only averaging 63.4 yards per kick).

Punter: Johnny Hekker, Rams

Hekker averaged only 40.3 yards per punt, and one really bad touchback punt. If we were counting his fake punt pass for this, he might not be here.

Returner: Bishop Sankey, Titans

Sankey saw three kickoff returns, and muffed two of them (one was called back on a penalty).


| Analyst

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

  • Brian Dugan

    As a Packers fan, I am amazed that Marshall Newhouse and Jamon Meredith are starting offensive lineman for NFL teams.

    • Mat

      As a Giants fan, I’m pretty appalled.

      • jaanu

        Really waiting for Beatty to come back and play that RT position

  • techvet

    If Nate Palmer is getting more playing time than Joe Thomas, when will that change?

    • Brian Dugan

      I don’t have access to the PFF grades, but from watching every Packers snap, I haven’t noticed Thomas playing much better than Palmer thus far. With either one, the base ILB next to Matthews is the weakest part of this entire team. Maybe Jake Ryan gets into the mix once he’s healthy.

    • Kevin

      Before this last game, Palmer had really started to improve and the grades backed what I saw up. This last game though he really struggled filling the right gaps and basically with everything else that involved the running game. I dont feel this 1 game is nearly enough to bench him in favor of Thomas on early downs.

      Thomas is undersized and is best used on obvious passing downs. If you ask him to fight off blocks over and over he will struggle IMO. If Palmer continues to play like he did against the Rams then GB just might have to go to Thomas or Ryan.

      Palmer was positive against the run the previous two games and both those teams had good backs. Palmer in about 230 snaps has 25 total tackles 10 stops and 4 missed tackles. Thomas in about 70 snaps has 4 tackles 4 stops and 5 missed tackles.

      • Brandon Piccione

        Palmer doesn’t seem to have Amy athleticism, or range. I would guess a lot of those tackles and stops were a product of Daniels, and Raji eating blocks.
        Thomas is definitely not an option on running downs, he’s really a safety playing lb. Jake Ryan showed athleticism, and made plays in pre-season. Hopefully he earns the coaches trust, if he can get some consistency, he’d be an upgrade over Palmer.

  • Andrew Maples

    Weren’t Seahawks fans saying that Kam was going to turn things around for Seattle?

    I mean, I could have sworn I read an article that was claiming Kam should be considered for MVP…


  • EdSadowski

    Agree. According to the media, Chancellor is The Second Coming for the Seahawks. Unless this was just an aberration, all the hype was way, way overblown.

    • The Mysteries of Bob

      The legend of Kam Chancellor reached Sean Taylor’s levels with the holdout when he is like the 5th best player in Seattle’s defense.

      They just haven’t played well, won’t write off a team that started 6-5 in 2012 and 3-3 last season, their offense has been awful too, failed to score 20 points in every single game, the much maligned Broncos did it three times.

  • Justin Szewczyk

    Why wouldn’t you include the fake punt for Hekker? His arm is one of the many reasons he is the best punter in the NFL.

    • Tellytubby

      They’re picking on the Rams, which is fair because they were terrible yesterday, but Hekker didn’t have his usual stellar game. Everyone knows he’s great, and arguably the best punter in the league but he had a bad day at the office.

    • https://twitter.com/MALACHiOFCOURSE Malachi

      because he’s not a QB, he was the worst punter (very rare for him) last week, his job is kicking

    • FerguesonFrank

      Cause it was a wounded duck that was completed cause the Packer DB fell down like an idiot.

  • Bourbonnais Doc

    Jamon means HAM in spanish. Just sayin’

  • crosseyedlemon

    As a Bears fan I’m thinking we could have started Jay Leno at tackle and got a grade higher than -10.8.

    • MorganW

      lol…i take these grades with a grain of salt. it’s the overall performance that counts and Leno didn’t allow a sack against a potential HoFer. The O-line is a patchwork of bandaids. Of course there are gonna be hurries from that line in it’s current incarnation but no sacks from either Houston or Hali was a good day.

  • Craig Garbutt

    Leno struggled? Are you serious? He and Kyle Long kept Hali and Houston quiet as mice all day. The only pressure on Cutler came through the interior of the o-line.

    • https://twitter.com/MALACHiOFCOURSE Malachi

      run blocking

  • MosesZD

    CJ Anderson’s complete ineptitude has cost me three games in my FFL. His best week has been 6 points. After that a pair of 3’s a 2 and a 1.

  • doglover365

    PANTHERS RULE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!