November 08, 2011
You know them. The guys who get all the press, the ones who your friends talk about, the ones who have a home on every fantasy team even though they just don't perform. The players who constantly make time for an interview, even when they don't make a play.
Quarterback -- Tim Tebow(notes), Denver Broncos: C'mon. Don't act like this is a surprise. No man has gotten more publicity for doing less on a football field. He was pushed by Denver fans as the next best thing since John Elway, engineered one victory, and then was hailed as a king. Never mind that he has given up 96 yards in 15 sacks, or that he hasn't thrown for more than 172 yards, or that Sunday's win was due to Eddie Royal(notes) and Willis McGahee(notes).
Running backs -- Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans: It's not just media and fans who overrated Johnson; Titans GM Mike Reinfeldt did the same. Johnson was made one of the highest-paid backs in the league after a holdout, and then let his yards-per-carry average drop a yard and a half, ranking him the third worst in the league.
DeAngelo Williams(notes), Carolina Panthers: Speaking of big contracts, DeAngelo Williams got a five-year, $43 million contract from the Panthers, who then decided to use him less. Jonathan Stewart(notes) and Cam Newton(notes) have emerged as reliable ground options for Carolina's offense, making Williams a very expensive part of a three-headed rushing beast.
Wide Receivers -- DeSean Jackson(notes), Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles supposed dream team is built around Michael Vick(notes) and a corps of receivers who can match up with Vick's athleticism and arm as well as, y'know, catch the ball. Jackson isn't doing that, only grabbing 54 percent of the passes thrown his way. Also, he hasn't added anything to the Eagles as a punt returner. In three games, he's had negative yardage on punt returns, and made a costly fumble in Philly's loss to Chicago.
Dez Bryant(notes), Dallas Cowboys: Bryant's 63.3 yards per game and 58 percent catch rate isn't making the Cowboys offense any better. He has good games against terrible teams like St. Louis, but that won't help Dallas get anywhere near the postseason. With Miles Austin's(notes) injury, his lackluster season will become even more noticeable if he doesn't improve in the second half.
Tight End -- Brent Celek(notes), Philadelphia Eagles: Last season, the Eagles relied on Celek to be a reliable passing and blocking option, and he delivered. This year, his catch rate and yards after catch are both down, but if you listened to Jon Gruden during Monday night's game, you would think that Celek is the best tight end since John Mackey.
Note: We left offensive linemen out of this discussion because by nature, offensive linemen are underrated. They are rarely recognized, except for when they screw up. Huzzah, offensive linemen of the world.
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