It’s hard to believe there are only four weeks of regular season football left. The year has flown by, and now we’re on to December games. We saw some excellent, snow-laden matchups on Sunday, and that always bodes well for some less-than-stellar football.
Each week, in addition to our Team of the Week roster reveal, we highlight the lowest-graded players at every position from the previous week’s games. Here's how things stacked up in Week 13.
Week 13 offense
Quarterback: Paxton Lynch, Denver Broncos, 35.0
Despite the win for Denver, this game provided evidence as to why the Broncos are sticking with Trevor Siemian instead of Paxton Lynch (at least for now). There was no accuracy on his deep ball (throws 20 yards or more downfield), as he missed all four such attempts. When Lynch was put under pressure, he completed just three passes on eight attempts for 13 yards. Lynch may be the answer one day, but right now, he’s just not ready to lead the team.
Running back: Devontae Booker, Denver Broncos, 48.3
It was a rough day all-around for the Broncos' offense, as they gained just 207 yards overall. While he was not helped by his offensive line, Devontae Booker still struggled rushing the football. He gained just 34 yards on 18 carries, averaging a mere 1.4 yards after contact per carry, and forced just two missed tackles.
Wide receiver: Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota Vikings, 42.4
Cordarrelle Patterson caught 100 percent of the passes thrown to him on Thursday, which sounds great. The problem is, that was just two passes, and he gained just 10 yards. Both of them were 5-yard catches, though, so at least he was consistent.
Wide receiver: Chris Conley, Kansas City Chiefs, 42.6
Chris Conley, like Patterson, was also targeted twice on Sunday. However, Conley didn’t catch either target, and actually outright dropped one. Not exactly a game he’d like to remember.
Slot receiver: Quincy Enunwa, New York Jets, 45.6
ESPN color analyst Jon Gruden called Quincy Enunwa the Jets' offensive MVP during the game on Monday night, although his play during that game certainly didn’t reach MVP levels. Enunwa caught one screen pass thrown his way for 10 yards, and dropped the only other target he saw all game.
Tight end: Lance Kendricks, Los Angeles Rams, 36.6
Lance Kendricks didn’t play a huge amount of snaps, but he was far from good when actually on the field. In the receiving game, he caught just two of five passes thrown at him for 13 yards, while chipping in on the Rams’ receiving issue by dropping one target. He also graded below-average in both run- and pass-blocking.
Left tackle: T.J. Clemmings, Minnesota Vikings, 34.4
T.J. Clemmings really struggled in pass protection for the Vikings on Thursday night, surrendering a sack, two hits, and four quarterback hurries. He also false-started twice and took a holding penalty.
Left guard: Joe Thuney, New England Patriots, 33.0
It was a tough go of things for Joe Thuney against L.A., as he posted the lowest offensive lineman grade of the week. He allowed a QB hit and three QB hurries, as well as multiple other instances where he was beat. In the run game, Thuney surrendered five tackles.
Center: Joe Hawley, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 35.2
Joe Hawley didn’t surrender a single QB pressure all afternoon, which was great for the Buccaneers. Unfortunately, a 27.8 run-blocking grade isn’t helpful. His struggles were a large part of why the Bucs rushed for just 81 yards on 30 carries.
Right guard: Chris Chester, Atlanta Falcons, 36.3
Almost all of Chris Chester’s struggles came in pass protection, where he graded out at 27.0. Chester allowed three quarterback hits and two other hurries when pass-blocking.
Right tackle: Bradley Sowell, Seattle Seahawks, 34.4
Bradley Sowell had struggles all around on Sunday night, grading below 35.0 in both run- and pass-blocking. He allowed five quarterback hurries when blocking for QB Russell Wilson. In the run game, it was three tackles surrendered.
Week 13 defense
Edge defender: Andre Branch, Miami Dolphins, 36.9
Andre Branch recorded just two late hurries when rushing the passer on Sunday for a Dolphins' defense that struggled overall. In the run game, he was often blocked out of the play, and missed a tackle when he was able to shed a block. He had zero defensive stops.
Interior defender: Jihad Ward, Oakland Raiders, 35.4
Jihad Ward’s inability to clog up the middle of the line is a big reason why the Buffalo Bills were able to rush for 212 yards on just 30 carries on Sunday. Ward’s run-defense grade came out to just 34.8.
Interior defender: Rakeem Nunez-Roches, Kansas City Chiefs, 35.5
Rakeem Nunez-Roches also did his damage (or lack of) in the run-defense game. He failed to record a single stop, and was generally unable to clog up the middle of the line like he was supposed to.
Edge defender: Michael Johnson, Cincinnati Bengals, 38.5
Michael Johnson had almost an identical impact as Branch did as an edge defender: two late pressures, a missed tackle, and a low run-defense grade. The only difference is that Johnson made one defensive stop in the game.
Linebacker: Ramik Wilson, Kansas City Chiefs, 29.8
Ramik Wilson missed an astonishing five tackles on Sunday for the Chiefs. He didn’t really make an impact in any other facet, either, but five missed tackles are far too many (five too many, to be precise).
Linebacker: John Timu, Chicago Bears, 31.8
John Timu struggled to get off his blocks in the run game, and really made very little impact there. In pass coverage, he only allowed one catch on four targets for 18 yards, but was beaten on all three incompletions, and was lucky that 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick just missed the throws.
Cornerback: Tramaine Brock, San Francisco 49ers, 28.9
While Tramaine Brock allowing four catches on seven targets for 57 receiving yards doesn’t seem all that bad, it doesn’t tell the whole story. One of those incompletions was a dropped pass, and Brock also took a defensive holding and pass interference penalty that would’ve made his numbers look far worse.
Cornerback: Alterraun Verner, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 31.2
On three targets, Verner was beat badly all three times to the tune of 63 yards and a touchdown. On another pass, he took a horrible angle in support, surrendering a big gain because of it.
Slot corner: Craig Mager, San Diego Chargers, 33.6
While Craig Mager only allowed three catches for 47 yards from his slot position, all three went for first downs. The fourth would have, too, if the throw was better. He also had a missed tackle in coverage.
Safety: Michael Griffin, Carolina Panthers, 32.0
Griffin had some issues in coverage for the Panthers, but it was his lack of run support that really did him in. Just three of his 12 tackles constituted an offensive loss, and he missed a ridiculous five tackles.
Safety: Keanu Neal, Atlanta Falcons, 35.8
Neal didn’t miss five tackles, but he did miss one and make only one defensive stop. He was also beaten in coverage a handful of times, including a big 35-yard reception.
Week 13 special teams
Punter: Matt Darr, Miami Dolphins
Matt Darr averaged just 37.2 yards per punt on Sunday, and very low hang-time.
Kicker: Nick Novak, Houston Texans
Though Chargers K Josh Lambo may have had one of the ugliest-looking misses on Sunday, Novak missed an extra point—so he makes the list.
Kick returner: Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings
Adam Thielen fielded one punt, and lost yards on the return before fumbling it. That set him apart from the other returners who also fumbled or muffed kicks.