Every Tuesday, PFF will be releasing its Team of the Week, representing the highest-graded players at each NFL position for that week. But Senior Analyst Sam Monson gets a jump on that by picking out the 10 least-impressive individual performances from Sunday’s games.
Here are the 10 worst performances from Sunday’s Week 14 action:
1. Robert Griffin III, QB, Cleveland Browns
Cleveland were robbed of their preferred QB lineup this year when RG III went down injured in the first week of the season. He had been playing badly that game, but it was against a formidable Eagles defense. This week marked his return, and he was once again horrendous, suggesting that maybe the Browns weren’t missing much by his absence all year, anyway. In the loss against the Bengals, he completed just 42.9 percent of his passes, managed only 104 yards through the air, and had a passer rating of 38.4. He did add a score on the ground, but even his three scrambles averaged just 4.7 yards per carry.
2. Telvin Smith, LB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville’s defense by and large did well in the loss against the Vikings, but Smith was the exception to that. He missed three tackles in the game and allowed a catch in coverage on five of the six passes thrown his way. QB Sam Bradford had a passer rating of 105.6 when throwing into Smith’s coverage, and 55 of the 56 yards came after the catch, with Smith routinely overrunning his position and unable to adjust to make the stop.
3. Glenn Dorsey, DI, San Francisco 49ers
Dorsey is not a natural nose tackle, and he was simply dominated in the run game by the Jets’ Wesley Johnson up the middle. Johnson is a third-year player who has shown very little in relief of Nick Mangold in the past, but absolutely ground Dorsey into the ground in the middle of the line. It marks Dorsey’s second ugly game in succession, and he has been able to do little to solidify the 49ers' run defense at nose tackle. The Jets were able to run the ball 40 times as a team, rack up 188 yards and average 4.7 yards per carry on their way to a comeback.
4. Erik Walden, Edge, Indianapolis Colts
There weren’t many pass-rushing opportunities in the Texans' win over the Colts, but on 17 rushes, Walden managed just one solitary hurry. His run defense was non-descript, but in seven snaps in coverage he did enough bad things to get himself in trouble. He was thrown at twice, allowing a 15-yard catch to RB Lamar Miller, but also getting flagged for defensive holding on C.J. Fiedorowicz. He was also flagged elsewhere in the game for unnecessary roughness in a performance that did little but hurt his team.
5. Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys
This wasn’t the first bad performance of Prescott’s season, but it was probably his worst, and it was the one that he didn’t turn around and rescue late in the game with clutch heroics in the way he did previously against the Philadelphia Eagles back in Week 8. Prescott completed just 45.9 percent of his passes for 165 yards, and when he was kept completely clean in the pocket he had a passer rating of only 24.2. He was sacked three times and was charged responsible for two of them himself.
6. King Dunlap, T, San Diego Chargers
There are tackles who have surrendered 10 or 11 total pressures all season, so for King Dunlap to cough up 11 in a single game is pretty impressive. To manage it against the Carolina defense that has been pretty bereft of edge pressure all season is remarkable. Dunlap made Mario Addison look like Reggie White and put his QB under a near-constant stream of pressure over the game. He was also flagged for holding and all in all had a game he would rather forget in the Panthers' win.
7. Ulrick John, T, Arizona Cardinals
Going up against Miami edge rusher Cameron Wake is usually one of the toughest tests any right tackle will face, and John failed that test this week. He allowed a sack, two hits and a hurry across 43 pass-blocking snaps, and was also flagged for holding. The volume of pressure surrendered by John wasn’t catastrophic as much as the nature of the pressure, because when he was beaten it tended to be quickly and decisively, leaving his QB Carson Palmer open to big-time negative plays. He also surrendered another sack that was nullified by penalty.
8. Joe Haeg, G, Indianapolis Colts
Blocking in the NFL is a different world to playing offensive line in the FCS, even for a juggernaut program like North Dakota State. Haeg somehow escaped this game without surrendering a sack, but did cough up three hits and four hurries playing inside at guard for the Colts. His run-blocking was also a major issue and only Andrew Luck’s ability to escape pressure saved him from looking much worse statistically in the game.
9. Earl Watford, G, Arizona Cardinals
Another struggling pass-blocker who somehow escaped surrendering a sack, Watford did manage to get beaten for a hit and six total pressures across 43 pass-blocking snaps. Watford’s pass protection was a major issue against the Panthers' defensive front, but he was also abused in the run game. Cardinals running back David Johnson averaged 4.1 yards per carry, but on runs either side of Watford’s blocking he managed just 2.2 yard per carry, almost half of which came after contact.
10. Phillip Dorsett, WR, Indianapolis Colts
Colts QB Andrew Luck passed for 276 yards against the Texans, but he also suffered from four drops from his receivers that cost him significant additional yardage. Dorsett alone accounted for three of those four drops. Only T.Y. Hilton was targeted more than Dorsett by Luck in this game, and while Hilton caught nine of his 11 targets for 115 yards and a score, Dorsett dropped as many passes as he caught (three) and managed just 19 total yards.