We’re finished with NFL Week 9, which means we’re now past the halfway point of the 2016 season. There have been some incredible performances by some incredible players, but there have also been some mistakes made, some coverages blown, and some passes intercepted. Every week, we highlight the lowest-graded players at every position.
This is the one team you don’t want to be named to.
Week 9 offense
Quarterback: Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets, 39.7
It was a tough day at the office for Fitzpatrick this past weekend. While he was fine when kept clean, earning a passer rating of 95.6 on such throws, it was a different story when pressure arrived. On the 16 dropbacks Fitzpatrick was pressured (47 percent of dropbacks), he completed just 5-of-12 passes for 54 yards and an interception.
Running back: Devontae Booker, Denver Broncos, 46.6
While he certainly wasn’t provided with any favors by his offensive line, Booker wasn’t able to make any plays on his own, either. He carried the ball 10 times and gained just 22 yards, including just 15 after first contact. Booker failed to force a single missed tackle against the Raiders.
Wide receiver: Marvin Jones, Detroit Lions, 41.0
Marvin Jones had his chances, seeing five targets from his quarterback, but he failed to take advantage. Jones caught just one of those passes (a screen pass) for 5 yards, and dropped another.
Wide receiver: Sammie Coates, Pittsburgh Steelers, 41.3
The Steelers' passing game struggled as a whole in Ben Roethlisberger’s return, and Sammie Coates was a big reason why. He was rarely able to get open, and even when he did, Coates didn’t catch a single pass on five targets, including a big drop.
Slot receiver: Allen Hurns, Jacksonville Jaguars, 42.8
Hurns was another receiver to post a big zero in the catch column in Week 9. He was targeted four times in 43 snaps, and had a dropped pass.
Tight end: Charles Clay, Buffalo Bills, 37.5
Clay was definitely ineffective in the passing game, catching just three of four passes for 9 yards and dropping the other. He also struggled when run blocking, allowing three defensive stops.
Left tackle: Ronnie Stanley, Baltimore Ravens, 27.0
Most of Stanley’s struggles came in the passing game, where he surrendered a sack, a QB hit, and three QB hurries. He also wasn’t great in the run game, allowing a handful of disruptive plays.
Left guard: Kevin Pamphile, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 37.8
Kevin Pamhile allowed five quarterback hurries, but he struggled even more when blocking for a run game that gained just 55 yards on 19 carries. Pamphile was unable to open up holes all night, and surrendered a couple of tackles and even more disruptive plays.
Center: Jason Kelce, Philadelphia Eagles, 40.9
Jason Kelce actually wasn’t too bad when pass blocking, finishing with a 68.2 grade there. He really struggled when run blocking, however, as the Eagles were generally unable to run up the middle all night.
Right guard: Trai Turner, Carolina Panthers, 38.4
Turner had an equal mix of struggles, as he wasn’t great in the run game or the passing game. He allowed five quarterback hurries when pass blocking, and three run stops against the stout Los Angeles defensive line.
Right tackle: Donald Stephenson, Denver Broncos, 22.2
This was a bad performance, plain and simple. Matched up mostly against Khalil Mack on Sunday, Stephenson surrendered three defensive stops in the run game. In the passing game, it was two sacks, six hurries, and an additional six times where he was beaten but a pressure didn't have time to develop.
Week 9 defense
Edge defender: Ahmad Brooks, San Francisco 49ers, 38.0
Brooks racked up just one cleanup pressure when rushing the quarterback on Sunday. In the run game he was hardly better, making just two tackles, with only one of them being an actual stop.
Interior defender: Jared Crick, Denver Broncos, 33.5
Crick will never be mistaken for a run-stopping interior defender, but he struggled even more than usual on Sunday night. He was constantly blocked out of his gaps and was the biggest reason the Raiders rushed for 218 yards on 43 carries.
Interior defender: Quinton Dial, San Francisco 49ers, 36.2
Dial also really struggled when it came to the run game. It seemed that on every play he was being sealed out of his gap and letting the Saints run right by him. The 49ers allowed 250 rushing yards on 40 attempts, largely because Dial couldn’t make an impact.
Edge defender: Robert Mathis, Indianapolis Colts, 38.8
As a nearly-exclusive pass-rusher, Mathis really struggled trying to get to the quarterback on Sunday. He rushed the passer 31 times, and had just one clean-up QB hurry after Aaron Rodgers left the pocket on his own.
Linebacker: Julian Stanford, New York Jets, 22.5
Julian Stanford had one of the lowest-graded games by a linebacker this season on Sunday. He was equally poor against the run (four missed tackles) as he was in coverage. He surrendered five catches on six targets for 33 yards—and those yardage totals could have been much worse if not for the help of his teammates.
Linebacker: Nathan Stupar, New Orleans Saints, 34.8
If you only looked at Nate Stupar’s 83.3 run-defense grade against the 49ers, you’d likely be surprised that he made this list. A 26.0 coverage grade, however, will do that. Stupar was targeted six times and allowed all six passes to be caught for 127 total yards and a touchdown. He also missed two tackles
Cornerback: Vernon Hargreaves III, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 24.4
Things started off pretty well for rookie Vernon Hargreaves III against Falcons WR Julio Jones, but they fell apart throughout the game. By the end of it, he had seen 11 targets and surrendered nine catches for 125 yards and a touchdown.
Cornerback: Bradley Roby, Denver Broncos, 25.2
The Raiders decided that they were going to pick on Bradley Roby, and pick on him often. QB Derek Carr targeted him 13 times, and Roby surrendered eight catches for 99 yards, as well as a couple of penalties.
Slot corner: Jeremy Lane, Seattle Seahawks, 35.4
Lane has had a tough few games in coverage ever since the bye week, and that continued on Monday night. He was targeted four times in the slot, and allowed all four to be caught for 59 total yards. He also missed a tackle.
Safety: T.J. Green, Indianapolis Colts, 38.0
T.J. Green had a dreadful day in coverage, allowing seven catches on nine targets for 76 yards as the primary coverage defender. He was also late in over-the-top help a handful of times.
Safety: T.J. McDonald, Los Angeles Rams, 39.3
T.J. McDonald wasn’t quite as bad in coverage on Sunday as the other T.J. on this list, but he still was late multiple times in over-the-top coverage and missed a tackle.
Week 9 special teams
Punter: Drew Kaser, San Diego Chargers
Kaser punted three times and failed to get any inside of the 20-yard line. His net average of 40.0 per punt was one of the lowest marks of the week.
Kicker: Blair Walsh, Minnesota Vikings
Walsh missed an extra point, and his low trajectory was the reason his 46-yarder was blocked.
Kick returner: Bryan Walters, Jacksonville Jaguars
Walters had a couple of average returns, but also had a pretty bad fumble, and that’s all it takes.