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Sunday's five least valuable players: The JaMarcus Russell Five!

Shutdown Corner

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JaMarcus Russell(notes), Quarterback, Oakland Raiders. This is becoming a farce. Quarterbacks do not play this way and keep their job. It just doesn't happen. Maybe if it's a rookie, and the team's going nowhere, and there are no better options, you might tolerate this kind of play. But this is a third-year guy, and there are better options, like, oh, say, I don't know ... any other quarterback in professional football.

In three of four games, he's had a completion percentage of 40 percent or lower. In the one he didn't, he had zero touchdowns and two interceptions. His completion percentage on the year is 39.8%. Of the quarterbacks in the league with 100 or more attempts, his quarterback rating is the lowest, by 23.1 points. Watching him play quarterback makes people feel sad, all day.

I don't believe that any sane coach would let him keep his job as a starter. And I believe that Tom Cable is a sane coach. Therefore, I've got to believe that this decision is coming from somewhere else, like, for example, the JaMarcus Russell of owners.

Marshawn Lynch(notes), Running Back, Buffalo Bills. Lynch was able to return from suspension yesterday and help the Bills get throttled by the Dolphins. I would expect a little rust, so I could forgive his eight carry, four-yard performance ... if those carries shouldn't have belonged to Fred Jackson(notes) to begin with.

Lynch added 5 receptions for 43 yards, so he wasn't completely without worth, but hasn't Fred Jackson earned the right to be Buffalo's primary running back? While Lynch was grinding out 18 inches per carry, Jackson got the ball 9 times and gained 42 yards. That's 4.7 yards per carry. You take the 8 carries Lynch got, turn the 4 yards into 42, control the clock a little better, get some first downs, and get your offense in a rhythm, and maybe you don't lose 38-10.

Mark Sanchez(notes), Quarterback, New York Jets. You knew it was coming, sooner or later. Sanchez finally put up a stinkbomb yesterday, going 14-of-27 for 138 yards, no touchdowns and three interceptions. He lost of a fumble, too.

He's a rookie. It happens. It will happen again.

Antonio Cromartie(notes), Cornerback, San Diego Chargers. Cromartie certainly isn't to blame for all of the Chargers defensive problems yesterday, but he didn't hold up his part of the bargain, either. Santonio Holmes(notes) and Hines Ward(notes) got the best of him all night.

Of course, Cromartie's job is made more difficult when the opposition can run the ball at will and your teammates get zero pass rush, but still, the corners are supposed to be a strength of the defense.

Any of These Five Gentlemen, Dallas Cowboys.

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All five of them failed to tackle Brandon Marshall(notes) on this game-winner yesterday, including Terrence Newman, who allowed Marshall to go up over him and make the catch to begin with. It was equal parts great play by Marshall and poor play by the Dallas defense, but as great as Marshall was ... someone's got to find a way to yank that guy down.

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