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#pounditMonday, October 26, 2020

5 NFL players who have been a letdown through two weeks

Tom Brady

The 2020 NFL regular season is now officially through two weeks and there has been a lot to absorb. The lack of fans has certainly presented its challenges for some teams, while injuries seem to be adding up across the board.

But those aren’t the only letdowns so far. Quite a few players who were expected to stand out above the rest have done anything but that and instead find themselves disappointing.

Here’s a look at five players who need to pick it up.

5. Evan Engram, TE, New York Giants

Entering the 2020 regular season, Giants tight end Evan Engram was riding one of the most robust hype trains in recent memory. Everyone from coaches to players and from pundits to fans expected this to finally be the year Engram breaks out and establishes himself as one of the best. Instead, Week 1 saw him drop several passes, stop a route short costing the team a touchdown, and commit a back-breaking offensive interference penalty while playing equally poor in pass protection. Engram did catch six balls for 65 yards in Week 2, but was kept out of the end zone in another loss. Eight receptions on 15 targets for 75 yards and two drops is not what the hype would have suggested.

4. Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles

Like Evan Engram, this was supposed to be the year Carson Wentz stayed healthy and put it all together. Instead, he’s looked horrendous through two weeks, completing just 58.8 percent of his passes and tossing four interceptions, which is more than half of his total from each of the previous three seasons. Add in two fumbles, and the scope of Wentz’s issues becomes apparent. In a Week 2 loss to the Los Angeles Rams — a game that wasn’t even close — Wentz managed to get booed. That’s significant because there aren’t even any fans in the stands. That’s how bad it is for Wentz and Philadelphia right now.

3. A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals

A.J. Green missed seven games in 2018 as the result of a toe injury and then missed the entire 2019 season after tearing ligaments in his ankle. Despite that, the Bengals slapped him with the franchise tag this offseason and expected a bounce-back season with rookie quarterback Joe Burrow taking snaps. So far, Cincinnati has not gotten a return on their investment. Although Burrow has played well, he and Green have not developed a strong chemistry, and it shows. Through two weeks, Green has just 8 receptions on 22 targets for 80 yards and no touchdowns.

2. Odell Beckham Jr., WR, Cleveland Browns

Odell Beckham Jr. has been effective over his first two seasons with the Browns, but has not come close to scratching the surface of his early success in New York. But entering the new league year, OBJ proclaimed he was in a better mental state and ready to take back over his throne atop the NFL. Of course, we’ve all heard that before — it’s like a broken record on repeat at the start of every season. In Week 1 against the Baltimore Ravens, Beckham was held to 3 receptions on 10 targets for 22 yards. In Week 2 against the Cincinnati Bengals, Beckham did manage to find the end zone, but his offensive snaps were limited to just 39. 7 receptions on 16 targets for 96 yards and one touchdown is not the kind of production OBJ had in mind to start the season. And his 43.8% catch rate? Yeah, it’s by far the lowest of his career (and yes, we recognize that some of this is the fault of quarterback Baker Mayfield).

1. Tom Brady, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tom Brady going to the Buccaneers was the league’s biggest offseason story. Finally, the world would see who was responsible for all of the success in New England: was it Brady or Bill Belichick? Well, early on, things are not looking too wonderful for Brady. In a Week 1 loss to the New Orleans Saints, Brady tossed two interceptions and fumbled the ball, and later found himself being chewed out by head coach Bruce Arians. In Week 2, the Bucs managed to pick up a win over the Carolina Panthers, but it wasn’t exactly because Brady lit things up. He tossed another pick and a lost a fumble while posting a QBR of just 54.1. In two games, Brady has thrown for just 456 yards and three touchdowns to go along with three interceptions and two fumbles (one lost). His QBR of 43.7 is 30th in the NFL. His 79.93 QB rating isn’t much better.

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