15 biggest disappointments of NFL Week 8
Mark Ingram, RB, Saints
The real reason Sunday’s Bears-Saints game became as close as it was is because Mark Ingram fumbled twice in the fourth quarter. Ingram’s numbers for the game looked solid — he had 18 carries for 75 yards and a touchdown. But the two fumbles made the game way too close. One fumble came at the Chicago 25 with under eight minutes left. Then he lost another fumble, the second one coming at the Chicago 26 with under three minutes left. New Orleans would have likely won by a much larger margin than 20-12 had Ingram not lost two fumbles.
“I was super whack today. My teammates savage af n bail me out! I WILL bounce back! I owe my team and Nola!” Ingram tweeted after the game.
Ingram also acknowledged that he “sucked” in the game, though he vowed to bounce back.
Jeremy Kerley, WR, Jets
Much like Travis Benjamin, Jeremy Kerley lands on this list for his special teams play. Kerley made a big blunder late in the game when he muffed a punt in the fourth quarter. Kerley’s Jets were down 22-20 with 6:53 left when Atlanta punted from their 32 on a 4th-and-3 play. Kerley muffed the punt, which was recovered by the Falcons at the 13. Atlanta barely moved the ball, but thanks to their field position, ended up with a field goal to take a 25-20 lead. The Jets got the ball back twice and didn’t do much with it, but things might have been different had they known they only needed a field goal to win, rather than a touchdown.
Cincinnati Bengals’ running backs
Are the Cincinnati Bengals ever going to get some production out of the running back position this season? The Bengals’ ground game has been a total zero this season. They entered Week 8 28th in the league with just 81.8 rushing yards per game, 30th with 3.3 yards per attempt, and 31st with just one rushing touchdown. They did nothing to improve on those stats. Against the Colts, Cincy rushed 21 times for 58 yards. They averaged only 2.8 yards per carry, with a long of 14. Rookie second-round pick Joe Mixon rushed 11 times for a paltry 18 yards. You can point to the pathetic rushing attack as a big reason for the team’s all-around issues.
Stefon Diggs, WR, Vikings
Anyone who was expecting Diggs to return from his groin injury and turn in a big performance will have come away disappointed. The receiver was targeted six times and hauled in four of them, but managed only 27 yards, failing to impact the game much against the Cleveland Browns. He’ll get a pass for this one — he had, after all, missed the last two weeks with his injury — but much more will be expected of him going forward as he gets back up to the speed of things.
James Bradberry, CB, Panthers
James Bradberry has developed into one of the best cornerbacks in the league, but he wasn’t at his best on Sunday. Facing Tampa Bay standout Mike Evans, Bradberry didn’t hold up great in coverage in the second half of the game. Pro Football Focus had him down for allowing six catches for 79 yards. He also was beat by Evans on a deep ball but was lucky Jameis Winston missed his man. Bradberry recorded six tackles and one pass defensed in the game.
Bob McNair, owner, Houston Texans
McNair revived the national anthem protests on a grand scale with some extremely hurtful words. During the league’s meetings about the national anthem protests, McNair reportedly said, “We can’t have the inmates running the prison.” The “inmates running the asylum” figure of speech is a common one, but the comparison of players to inmates greatly offended many, especially his own players. One star player left practice on Friday upset over the comments, while the majority of the team’s players kneeled during the national anthem on Sunday before the game with the Seahawks. McNair apologized for his comments, but one player reportedly did not feel the apology was persuasive. It’s the general sentiment of viewing players who are for the most part great athletes, good citizens, good community and family members, as “inmates” that was so troubling.
Miami Dolphins’ offense
You have to be doing something pretty bad for your head coach to start calling you out publicly, going so far as to say that the veterans aren’t studying the playbook enough. The 40-0 shutout by the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday night has to be the low point of coach Adam Gase’s tenure, and there’s plenty of blame to go around.
Jay Ajayi only mustered 23 yards on 13 carries. Backup quarterback Matt Moore turned the ball over twice. Jarvis Landry only put together 33 yards receiving. Big names aren’t performing, and something is going to have to change; it’s not like they were doing significantly better with Jay Cutler healthy.