The 12 Most Pathetic Player Performances of the 2011 NFL Season

Matt Stein@MatthewJSteinCorrespondent IIOctober 13, 2011

The 12 Most Pathetic Player Performances of the 2011 NFL Season

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    So far in the NFL season, we have seen our fair share of pathetic performances. I'm not talking about poor performances or even terrible performances. When I say "pathetic," I mean "my mom could do better" pathetic.

    It's understandable in today's game for players to have off games, but these following 12 players had much worse than just an off game. Here are the 12 most pathetic player performances of the 2011 NFL season.

Donovan McNabb in Week 1

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    Opponent: San Diego Chargers

    Key pathetic statistic: 39 passing yards

    In his first game with the Minnesota Vikings, Donovan McNabb was straight-up awful.

    I understand he wasn't brought in to be the focal point of the offense, but still—39 passing yards is just embarrassing. McNabb had an average of 2.6 yards per completion. He would have been better off throwing the ball to himself, catching the football at the line of scrimmage and falling to the ground with the ball stretched out.

    I'm fairly confident that Vikings fans everywhere were shaking their heads in disbelief after watching this game.

Chris Johnson in Week 1

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    Opponent: Jacksonville Jaguars

    Key pathetic statistic: 24 rushing yards

    This isn't the best way to show people that you are worth the ridiculously large contract you just signed in the offseason. 

    The Tennessee Titans were expecting much more than 24 rushing yards out of the player that held out for a bigger contract. Unfortunately, Chris Johnson looked anything but himself during a difficult loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. He wasn't finding holes and looked slow and uninterested.

    It was a tough performance to watch considering the fact Johnson probably made about $2,300 per rushing yard.

Ben Roethlisberger in Week 1

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    Opponent: Baltimore Ravens

    Key pathetic statistic: five turnovers

    The start of the 2011 NFL season wasn't a pretty one for Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

    Not only did the Steelers get destroyed by a score of 35-7 at the hands of a division rival, but Roethlisberger also had one of the worst games of his career. He had three interceptions—more than half of how many he had all last year—and two lost fumbles, which was again more than half he had all last year.

    It was almost as if he was trying to give away the ball just so he wouldn't get hit again. This was a very unlikely and pathetic performance from Roethlisberger.

Matt Cassel in Week 2

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    Opponent: Detroit Lions

    Key pathetic statistic: 44.5 quarterback rating

    Three interceptions and a lost fumble is not the way to come back after a crushing opening-game loss.

    It also doesn't help make the performance any more non-pathetic to throw for 133 yards and zero touchdowns as well. The surprising thing was that Matt Cassel wasn't being inaccurate with his throws, as he only had seven incomplete passes in the entire game.

    Thankfully, Cassel has been able to turn the season around after having this very, very poor performance in Week 2.

Luke McCown in Week 2

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    Opponent: New York Jets

    Key pathetic statistic: 1.8 quarterback rating

    Yeah, you read that pathetic statistic correct. In Week 2, Luke McCown had a quarterback rating of 1.8.

    He had two more completions (six) than interceptions (four), and he only threw for a total of 59 yards during the entire game. In fact, McCown's performance was so pathetic that he was benched the following week for rookie Blaine Gabbert.

    I'm fairly confident this performance from McCown ruined every chance he might ever have to start in the NFL again. I'm crowning McCown the Most Pathetic Performer of the Year, and I guarantee no one is taking the crown from him for the remainder of the season.

Antonio Cromartie in Week 3

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    Opponent: Oakland Raiders

    Key pathetic statistic: N/A

    It is hard to pinpoint one key pathetic statistic from Antonio Cromartie and his performance against the Oakland Raiders.

    Throughout the entire game, Cromartie looked more like a junior high cornerback than a professional athlete. He gave up big play after big play, got called for numerous penalties and seemed to give up when getting blocked downfield.

    After watching him play in Week 3, it was hard to imagine this used to be a great cornerback.

Mark Sanchez in Week 4

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    Opponent: Baltimore Ravens

    Key pathetic statistic: 31.4 completion percentage

    It was hard to overlook the four fumbles, but completing only 31.4 percent of your passes over the course of an entire game is just pathetic.

    We all know Mark Sanchez has some issues with accuracy, but this brought it to an all-time low for him. To make matters worse, he wasn't even close to his wide receivers on the majority of the throws.

    I knew Sanchez had a ways to go before becoming a top quarterback in the league. I just didn't realize it was this far.

James Anderson in Week 4

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    Opponent: Chicago Bears

    Key pathetic statistic: Matt Forte's 205 rushing yards

    It was hard to pinpoint an exact player for the Carolina Panthers because this was more of a pathetic team performance than a pathetic individual performance. However, I'll place the majority of the blame on James Anderson because he was nowhere to be seen the entire game.

    Over the past few years, Matt Forte has become better known for his receiving ability than his rushing ability, so seeing him rush for 205 yards goes to show how terrible this performance was. Anderson is a very talented player, but he didn't make any plays on Forte and let a horrid offensive line run all over him.

    The blame is on the entire defensive unit for Carolina, but I'm using Anderson as my scapegoat. Sorry, Mr. Anderson.

Trai Essex in Week 4

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    Opponent: Houston Texans

    Key pathetic statistic: five sacks on Ben Roethlisberger

    First of all, Ben Roethlisberger shouldn't be getting sacked five times in a game ever. Even with a bum foot, Roethlisberger was only sacked once against the Tennessee Titans, who have a better defense than the Texans.

    I know Trai Essex was thrown into a tough situation, but seriously, these are professional athletes we are talking about here. They are supposed to live for tough situations and thrive in these conditions.

    Essex crumbled like a chunk of blue cheese, and not even the good kind of blue cheese that is all fancy; he crumbled like the Kroger brand of blue cheese.

    Once again, the blame isn't completely on the shoulders of Essex for letting Roethlisberger get sacked five times, but I had to single someone out, and he played the worst out of all the linemen.

Kyle Orton in Week 5

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    Opponent: San Diego Chargers

    Key pathetic statistic: This isn't really a statistic, but being benched in favor of Tim Tebow

    If I had to choose a pathetic statistic from Kyle Orton last Sunday, I could have gone with the 34 passing yards, or the 2.6 yards per completion, or even the 21.0 quarterback rating.

    However, I feel like the most pathetic thing Orton did on Sunday was allow Tim Tebow to take his starting job once again. You just can't have crappy performance after crappy performance and expect to be able to keep playing with the first team out there. I'm sorry, but it just isn't happening.

    Welcome to the bench, Orton, and don't expect to be getting up anytime soon. Don't blame me—you did this to yourself with your stinky performance.

Sione Pouha in Week 5

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    Opponent: New England Patriots

    Key pathetic statistic: 136 rushing yards and two touchdowns

    Do you know the last time that BenJarvus Green-Ellis rushed for 136 yards in a game? That's right—the answer to that question was never.

    This time, I'm blaming the entire failing of the unit on Sione Pouha. First, he let Green-Ellis run all over him, which gave up a touchdown. After that, he spent the majority of the fourth quarter getting completely dominated at the line of scrimmage when he absolutely knew the Patriots were going to be running the ball.

    If you know what a team is going to do and you still can't stop it time and time again, that is considered pathetic.

Josh Freeman in Week 5

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    Opponent: San Francisco 49ers

    Key pathetic statistic: 43.4 quarterback rating

    Whenever you lose to a team 48-3, you have more problems than just the quarterback. With that said, Freeman looked absolutely horrid against the 49ers.

    He barely completed 50 percent of his passes and had two interceptions in the game. When you consider that San Francisco had been giving up nearly 300 yards in the air before this game, it makes Freeman's 187 passing yards look pedestrian.

    I probably should have put every member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on this list, but Freeman is the quarterback and should take all the blame on his shoulders.