YEAR IN REVIEW: 3 NFL Players Who Had A Worse 2016 Season Than You Realize
There are a lot of articles at the end of every year that highlight the best and worst of the last twelve months. In sports, we often hone in on the athletes, teams and moments that were the best and the brightest; the most inspirational or most memorable.
However sometimes there are players and performances that are so underwhelming that their failures cannot - and should not - be ignored.
The NFL had more than its fair share of said performances this season, from individual players to entire teams. Still, these three players stuck out as the season wore on. Despite being some of the worst starters in the league at their positions, they've seemingly escaped the kind of criticism that has been reserved for other disappointing players like Jared Goff, Brock Osweiler, Darrelle Revis and Jeremy Hill.
Jermaine Kearse - Wide Receiver - Seattle Seahawks
Kearse has been a regular starter at wide receiver for the Seahawks since the 2014 season. Last season he caught nearly 72% of the passes thrown his way, totaling 688 yards and five touchdowns. He looked as thought he'd be a vital part of the team's offense going forward, but this season he's been one of the least reliable starting wide receivers in the NFL.
Of the 92 players in the league that were target 70 or more times, Kearse is 86th in receptions (39), 88th in catch percentage (47.6%) and is one of just six players on that list with only one touchdown reception. And none of this can be blamed on QB Russell Wilson because on the other side of the field, Doug Baldwin has caught 76% of his 92 targets with seven touchdown receptions.
Carson Wentz - Quarterback - Philadelphia Eagles
It's been over a month now of listening to people bemoan the state of the Rams offense under first overall pick Jared Goff, but all the way across the country on the east coast, the number two pick hasn't looked so hot either. Eagles rookie QB Carson Wentz got off to a good start in the first few games of the season. In fact after Week 3, half the country had the Eagles already going to the Super Bowl.
Yeah, not so much.
Of the 30 NFL quarterbacks with 300 or more pass attempts this season, Wentz is 25th in passer rating (78.2) and dead last in touchdown percentage (2.50%). Only three quarterbacks threw fewer than Wentz's 14 touchdown passes: Alex Smith (13), Ryan Fitzpatrick (10) and Case Keenum (9).
And to top it all off, Went'z 14 fumbles are tied with Carson Palmer for the most by a QB this season.
Chandler Catanzaro - Kicker - Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals team this season features more than a few underachievers (see: Palmer, Patrick Peterson) but Catanzaro is perhaps the easiest to point a finger at. The third year kicker had a breakout rookie season back in 2014 when he notably made 10 of his 11 field goal attempts between 40 and 49 yards and 2 of 3 from 50+ yards. Then in 2015, he made 90.3% of his field goals, making him one of the most reliable kickers in the league.
This year he looks like an entirely different guy.
Even after taking into consideration the fact that the NFL's kicking game has been brutal across the board this year, Catanzaro has still been a major disappointment. His 18 field goals made are tied for 26th among the 30 kickers to play in 12 or more games this season, and his 72.0 field goal percentage ranks last.
Anyone who watched the uber-talented Cardinas falter this season knows that Catanzaro was far from their only issue, but not being able to count on the kicker took dimensions away from the offense that inarguably cost them games.
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