The Brandt Report  


Derek Carr heads list of nine players who disappointed in 2017


Through the first six weeks of the season, Joe Flacco would have qualified as a disappointment. He'd managed to throw just four touchdown passes while getting picked off eight times and compiling a passer rating of 66.1 as the leader of a dreadful Ravens aerial attack (ranked 31st in the NFL).

But Flacco proceeded to turn his campaign around, notching a TD-to-INT ratio of 7:1 and a passer rating of 98.2 over the past four games while marshaling a late-season push that has Baltimore on the verge of making the playoffs. He also avoided being mentioned in this list of some of the more disappointing individuals of the 2017 NFL season. Below, I've named nine players -- listed in alphabetical order -- who have fallen short in one way or another. Some inspire more concern than others, but all have performed below expectations.

Ziggy Ansah, DE, Detroit Lions

In 2014 and especially in 2015, when he had 14.5 sacks and four forced fumbles, it looked like Ansah was going to be a premier pass rusher. But Ansah just hasn't been the same player lately, with a deceptive sack total of 9.0 this season that is less encouraging if you discount the 3.0 sacks he recorded against a feckless Giants O-line in Week 2. Whether health (he's dealt with ankle and back issues this season) is to blame or not, he's simply not operating with the same level of speed and competitiveness he once did. He was unbelievable early in his career, like a killer bee, but lately, it was almost like he was just going through the motions. Perhaps Sunday's three-sack effort against Cincinnati is a sign of better things to come for Ansah as he heads toward free agency this offseason.

Vic Beasley, OLB, Atlanta Falcons

Beasley led the league in sacks in 2016 with 15.5, but it seems like he never really recovered from Super Bowl LI, when Patriots lineman Marcus Cannon shut him out. Beasley has just four sacks this season, the same number he had in a similarly underwhelming rookie season in 2015, after which people were wondering if the former No. 8 overall pick had been overdrafted. A hamstring injury might be contributing to his struggles, but whatever the reason, he's slipped back to those disappointing 2015 levels.

Kenny Britt, WR, New England Patriots

You can't do much worse in terms of production than Britt, who signed a four-year, $32.5 million contract with the Browns and proceeded to play nine games and catch 18 balls for 233 yards and two touchdowns before Cleveland cut him loose. The Patriots picked him up -- and he's collected two catches for 23 yards in two games since.

Derek Carr, QB, Oakland Raiders

The Raiders added a new offensive coordinator and a running threat in Marshawn Lynch to hopefully make the passing game more successful. After a strong start, Carr hit a major speedbump against Washington in Week 3, with a 52.9 passer rating in a 27-10 loss, and he's looked like someone struggling to recover from a bad round of golf ever since, with Monday's two-pick, 140-yard showing against the Eagles being just the latest example. I know he had to deal with a transverse process fracture in the middle of the season, but I think he's healthy now -- he moves around well, and his ball placement is not off. An increase in drops this season has likely seriously hampered him. Maybe he just used up all his luck last year. I don't think this is a long-term issue, though -- I expect Carr to bounce back in 2018, with this going down as more of an outlier year for him.

Mike Glennon, QB, Chicago Bears

Glennon got paid by Chicago this offseason, and he was supposed to be the answer -- for this season, anyway -- at quarterback, even after Mitchell Trubisky was drafted No. 2 overall. Glennon made four starts and the Bears lost three of those games, with Glennon dropping snaps and making critical errors. His performance made it hard to understand why he received such a big deal.

Eddie Lacy, RB, Seattle Seahawks

this offseason of contract incentives meant to encourage Lacy to lose weight in his first season with Seattle, but he hasn't really had any kind of impact to speak of with a team that could really have used some running help. Lacy has played in nine games and accrued just 179 yards and zero touchdowns on 69 carries. He's been given 10-plus carries in just three games, and he's averaging 2.6 yards per carry. It seems like he played much heavier than he should have been.

Adrian Peterson, RB, Arizona Cardinals

Entering 2017, there was some thought that Peterson might still have something in the tank. Now, after a season in which he carried the ball 156 times for 529 yards in 10 games split between the Saints and Cardinals before going on injured reserve, it's clear Peterson just doesn't have the juice he had in the old days. I remember one moment earlier this year when Peterson, who was still with the Saints at the time, flared out to the right on a pass play and couldn't clear the linebacker. If you don't have the speed to clear the linebacker, it's going to be tough to play running back successfully in the NFL.

Terrelle Pryor, WR, Washington Redskins

The former quarterback broke out with a 1,000-yard campaign as a receiver in Cleveland in 2016, and hopes were high that he'd continue to improve as he gained experience at the position. Instead, he basically disappeared after signing with Washington, producing just 20 catches for 240 yards and one score, with his last meaningful action coming in Week 9. Pryor runs fast; it just seems like this season, he had trouble getting line up correctly and getting in sync with quarterback Kirk Cousins, like he was frequently running the wrong route. Pryor has tremendous ability, and I could see him having a strong 2018, provided he learns the offense better.

Laquon Treadwell, WR, Minnesota Vikings

Treadwell has proven himself to be among the least productive players drafted in the first round in 2016, with just 17 catches for 184 yards and no touchdowns this season. He seems to be slow on the field, and I wonder if he's applied himself enough to be successful in this league.

Follow Gil Brandt on Twitter @Gil_Brandt.



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